It was heartening to read The Tribune’s recent front-page article, “Seniors learn it’s OK to talk of feelings” (April 23). For more than 20 years, there has been a free service in SLO County that addresses this very issue.
It is Senior Peer Counseling, which provides free in-home counseling to those over 60 who are experiencing emotional distress due to such issues as depression, anxiety, grief, family difficulties, changing levels of independence, and health issues. This program is available through Wilshire Health and Community Services.
As volunteer counselors, we participate in 60 hours of training and have weekly groups for clinical supervision and to support one another. From a volunteer’s perspective, I can say that it is a privilege to be there with our clients, who are often at turning points in their lives. I have met some extraordinary people who I would never have met otherwise, partly because as we get older we become invisible.
Another bonus is connecting with the leaders and other volunteers in the Senior Peer Counseling Program — a group of wise and caring people, each with a great sense of humor. For more information, call 547-7025.