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Calmer Life Program | South Central MIRECC

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About Calmer Life

All materials available on this webpage were developed in the context of the Calmer Life Program, which sought to compare two models of care for worry/anxiety among older adults from underserved, low-income, mostly minority communities:

1. Calmer Life (CL), an innovative, person-centered model of care anchored in evidence-based cognitive behavioral treatment with additional novel components and cultural tailoring to meet the needs of underserved older adults; and
2. Enhanced Community Care (ECC), an intervention anchored in standard community-based information and resource counseling.

Both CL and ECC produced positive outcomes. This program was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Community Workshop Curriculum

This curriculum addresses mental health topics (in particular, worry/anxiety and depression) in older adults and is intended for delivery to groups of older adults reached through their participation in faith-based groups, health education coalitions, senior centers, community agencies, and senior housing units. The content is designed to be delivered by community health workers, health educators, social service providers, and volunteers with effective group presentation skills.

The curriculum includes content for four sessions with each session including PowerPoint presentation on worry and stress, handouts, and a guide for presenters. Developed by Fallon Keegan, BA, Jose Cortes, BA, Carolyn Sneed, Anette Ovalle, BA, Kerstin Hollan, BA, Srijana Shrestha, PhD, Nancy L. Wilson, MSW, and Melinda A. Stanley, PhD; Houston, TX.  Published 3/2018.

Clinician Intervention Manual

The Calmer Life Clinician Manual is a guide for providing individual mental health counseling to adults 50 years and older with worry and stress. This intervention is intended to be provided through community or faith-based organizations that offer mental health counseling. Staff with a background providing interventions for mental health or who have access to supervision of a mental health expert are qualified to provide the intervention. Providers should also be aware of the crisis procedures for their agencies or organizations. Published 10/2018.

Participant Workbook

The Calmer Life Participant Workbook may be used to accompany the Clinician Intervention Manual or may be used as a self-help resource. It contains modules addressing topics related to worry/stress, instructions for practicing skills used to reduce worry/stress, and records for participants to track their worry/stress and skills practice. The workbook can be distributed through community or faith-based organizations regardless of whether they offer mental health counseling. Published 10/2018.

Enhanced Community Care Template

The Enhanced Community Care (Information and Resource Counseling) template assists organizations in creating a list of local resources that can be used to provide telephone based information about community resources to address worry/stress and basic needs and offer follow-up support. Information and Referral specialists, options counselors, community health workers, health educators, and social service providers housed in senior housing with service coordinators or community or faith-based organizations that provide Information and resource counseling would benefit from this tool. Providers should also be aware of the crisis procedures for their agencies or organizations. Published 10/2018.


This product is an evidence-based practice.

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Use of these Materials and Finding VA Health Care

Please note that the health care information provided in these materials is for educational purposes only. It does not replace the role of a medical practitioner for advice on care and treatment. If you are looking for professional medical care, find your local VA healthcare center by using the VA Facilities Locator & Directory. This page may contain links that will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

Last updated: December 14, 2023