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Clinic Seeks Help for New Geriatric Outreach Center

November 24, 1985

The Pasadena Guidance Clinic is seeking the public's help in establishing a geriatric outreach program and identifying senior citizens who suffer from mental health problems.

About 10% of the estimated 112,000 senior citizens who live in the West San Gabriel Valley probably suffer from depression, according to the Craig Schweon, director of older adult programs at the guidance agency.

"While depression is the most common mental health problem we expect to find," Schweon said, "we will also be looking for paranoia, lack of social functioning and adjustment problems following the loss of a spouse or other stresses.

"We will also monitor a person's physical situation because medications can cause mental problems."

Schweon is assembling a team consisting of a mental health nurse, a licensed clinical social worker, a psychiatrist and a psychologist under a three-year federal block grant administered by the state Department of Mental Health. The grant will range from $140,000 to $160,000 annually. Schweon, a clinical psychologist specializing in gerontology, will head the team.

"The outreach will be (by) word of mouth and brochures and I anticipate it will take several months (to make our program known)," he said.

"And once we find the elderly who need help, we have to get those people willing to work with us (working) on their problems.

"This is an under-served population so I hope people in the community are caring enough to see the problem and then let us know."

Schweon said that the team will have to educate the community, including other agencies, neighbors, family members and senior centers, to be on the lookout for seniors needing help.

Schweon urged those knowing of seniors with problems to contact him at the Pasadena Guidance Clinics at (818) 795-8471.

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