David Lawrence Centers Launches Intervention Program for Early Psychosis

David Lawrence Centers Launches Intervention Program for Early Psychosis

Naples, Fl – David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC), Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health provider serving children, adults and families, has began accepting clients and referrals into a new evidence-based, early intervention program for older adolescents and young adults experiencing the first symptoms of a psychotic illness.

The OnTrack program is an innovative treatment program for individuals between the ages of 16 to 30 who have recently begun experiencing unusual thoughts and behaviors, such as hearing or seeing things that others don’t, or disorganized, illogical thinking. Eligible participants have experienced at least two weeks of symptoms, with onset within the previous two years. Warning signs of someone experiencing early psychosis may include: starting to withdraw from family and friends, having thoughts that seem strange to others, bizarre behaviors, and becoming fearful or suspicious of other people.

The goal of OnTrack is to work collaboratively with participants and their families to facilitate independence and achieve life’s goals by improving functioning, reducing stress, and minimizing symptoms so they don’t become disabling.

After similarly coordinated specialty care programs for treating psychosis were implemented with great success in other states, the federal government mandated that 10% of new mental health block grants throughout each state needed to fund such programs. DLC was one of two agencies recently selected by Central Florida Behavioral Health Network (CFBHN) – the managing entity that contracts the publicly funded mental health and substance use treatment services in the 14-county SunCoast region – to launch an early psychosis treatment team.  The $750,000 grant was funded by the Florida Department of Children and Families through the federal block grant.

Over the last several months, DLC has recruited and built a diverse, highly specialized team of mental health professionals trained in recognizing and responding to the early features of psychotic disorders. The interdisciplinary team consists of a psychiatrist, a nurse, a clinician, a peer specialist and a supported education/employment specialist.

The outpatient community-based program provides evaluation, comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation support services for individuals experiencing early psychosis in a recovery-oriented setting. Treatment is individualized to meet the unique needs of each participant, and may include psychiatric medications effective in relieving psychotic symptoms. Outpatient therapy helps individuals learn new skills to cope with the symptoms. Peer-to-peer support provides sharing of lived mental health experiences, social tools, and resources to better navigate recovery. Education and employment support services help participants navigate and achieve success in work or school settings.

“We are so excited to have been selected for this funding to further advance our mission,” said DLC President and CEO Scott Burgess. “This innovative, evidence-based practice will greatly improve treatment outcomes for individuals with psychotic illnesses by enhancing early identification and intervention that will maximize opportunities to thrive and achieve their desired goals, whether a job or school, as well as to enhance greater success in their family and community.”

Southwest Florida nonprofit David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) is a national leader providing compassionate, advanced, and exceptional mental health, substance use, and integrated healthcare solutions, available for children, adolescents and adults. DLC’s innovative treatment includes inpatient, outpatient, residential, and community-based services – a comprehensive system of care funded by community and government support. Each year, DLC serves more than 9,000 people through over 300,000 treatment sessions. To learn more, please call 239-455-8500 or visit www.DLCenters.org.

Jan 13, 2022 | Press Releases

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