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New Mental Health Option For Kids

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Collier County non-profit mental health and substance abuse program for kids has opened up a new program that offers intensive daily therapy and doesn’t require hospitalization. It's the first kind in the area. 

The David Lawrence Center has started the Partial Hospitalization Program, a program the Center calls "the highest outpatient psychiatric therapy offered". 

Before this program, kids in the area had two options: 1) get admitted into a residential psychiatric center or  2) get therapy once a week.

The Center’s director of admission and outpatient therapy services, Natalie Garcia, said usually when children leave residential care, they go to weekly therapy. 

"Now, they can go from residential therapy to daily therapy services for anywhere from one to three weeks," said Garcia. 

Garcia said with this program, kids can get daily therapy and still go home. 

“Really this program helps to focus on keeping kids at home with their families," said Garcia.  "And building those relationships and on school functioning, self-care. Decreasing and eliminating self-harming behaviors. And the increase in ability to use coping skills.” 

Garcia said within a year the Center has seen an increase for a need for crisis psychiatric services for kids. She said she hopes this new Partial Hospitalization Program, the only one of its kind in southwest Florida, will intervene before crisis care is needed

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Quincy Walters is a reporter and backup host for WGCU.