David Lawrence Center receives grant from SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. to expand Children’s Mental Health Outreach and Crisis Care

(Submitted photo) From left to right: Fred Hawkins, Elaine Hawkins, Jason Stephens , Christin Collins, Bill O’Neill , Sandy Stilwell-Youngquist, Nancy Dauphinais, Emily Budd, Brooke Denson, Jenn Pavich, Joe Pavich, Richard Pitbladdo and Heidi Taulman.

Naples – David Lawrence Center (DLC), Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit mental health and addiction recovery treatment center serving children, adults and families, is pleased to announce that trustees from the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. awarded the Center a $226,269 children’s behavioral health grant. SWFL Children’s Charities partnered with SWFL Community Foundation to administer the grant program. This was the first year DLC received funding from the charity.

SWFL Children’s Charities raises funds through the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. This year’s event, themed “Making Waves: Building Healthy Minds,” raised $1.79 million to enhance pediatric healthcare services and education programs in the five-county region. DLC was awarded more than half of the $516,775 proceeds raised from this year’s Live Auction Fund-A-Cause, which focused specifically on children’s mental and behavioral health services.

SWFL Children’s Charities Board President Sandy Stilwell-Youngquist said, “We feel privileged to be able to provide funds to organizations that make life-changing strides for mental and behavioral health, and children’s healthcare services and education. We are thankful for our chairs—Christin Collins, Brooke Denson and Debbie Toler—for leading this year’s charge, and for all our donors, volunteers and sponsors who are making waves in our community through their support of the children and families who need our help the most.”

The grant will fund adolescent day treatment and inpatient children’s crisis stabilization services as well as two new positions designed to improve linkage and outreach services. Funding will assist in providing high-risk teens access to intensive, therapeutic day treatment consisting of individual, group and family intervention support in the Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program – the only program of its kind in Southwest Florida. The medically supervised program is designed to be a step down for inpatient emergency mental health care and an alternative to admission to a crisis unit or a long-term residential treatment program.

The grant will also fund a full-time Rehabilitation Specialist on the 24-hour Children’s Crisis Stabilization Unit to provide wellness and education group sessions designed to teach the child and their family new coping strategies, skills and activities they can incorporate into their daily lives. In addition to cognitive-behavioral skills building, group topics include art, music and pet therapies, as well as fitness, yoga, tai chi and nutrition.

Additionally, part of the grant will fund a Children’s Integrated Care Liaison who will link children from medical practices and community partners to DLC’s services. The remaining funds will go toward a Community Outreach Specialist who will provide education, awareness, outreach and prevention services designed to improve awareness, early identification and access to care.

Scott Burgess, DLC President and CEO, said, “Our community has demonstrated significant and growing demand for pediatric behavioral health. As the popularity of Southwest Florida continues to drive explosive growth in our population, and with greater awareness of the importance of intervening as early as possible in mental health issues, expanding our service and treatment capacity is critical. We are grateful for the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s investment in our innovative children’s services and our mission to restore and rebuild lives.”

About the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.
SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. is non-profit whose mission is to save children’s lives by supporting organizations committed to pediatric health care services and education. Through funds raised through its signature event, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, the non-profit has donated more than $22.8 million since 2008, making it one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country supporting children’s health and education. The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, of SWFL Children’s Charities, features chef vintner dinners, a grand tasting and live auction. For more information visit www.swflwinefest.org or call 239.433.4260.

About David Lawrence Center
Southwest Florida nonprofit David Lawrence Center is a national leader in providing world-class mental health and addiction recovery solutions for children, adolescents and adults. The Center’s innovative, integrated treatment includes inpatient, outpatient, residential, and community-based services – a comprehensive system of care funded by community and government support. Each year, David Lawrence Center creates life-changing wellness for more than 9,600 people through over 266,000 treatment sessions. To learn more, please call 239-455-8500 or visit www.DavidLawrenceCenter.org.

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