Gail Bissonnette has been in and out of hospitals for depression numerous times over the years, a cycle that has exacted an enormous toll on the Hudson resident, her family, and others who have helped her through difficult periods.
Instead, Bissonnette contacts an innovative, federally funded pilot program called Elder Community Care, a service that provides seniors in area communities with limited psychiatric treatment and counseling for free, either in person or over the phone.
“I did not have to go back into a hospital for psychiatric treatment,’’ said Bissonnette, who added that formal counseling would be too expensive for her to pursue. “I was able to stay at home. I can call daily, and I get calls from people checking to see how my day is or my week was.’’
Supporters say Elder Community Care works like preventive medicine for elders at risk for depression, alcohol abuse, and other often-overlooked mental illnesses that can spiral into worse conditions if they aren’t treated early.
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