• Kevin

CEO pushes for treating mental illness, substance use together

[By Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer]



Mental illness and drug or alcohol dependency often occur together, but only 7.4 percent of people with those conditions receive treatment for both, according to Linda De Piano, CEO of the Jerome Golden Center for Behavioral Health in West Palm Beach.


More than half get no treatment at all, she said, citing federal statistics.


“Your support is helping us overcome a significant challenge for people with co-occurring disorders,” she told state legislators in Tallahassee in January.

The nonprofit Golden Center calls itself Palm Beach County’s largest safety-net provider of mental health services to more than 9,000 people a year. The center relies on state, federal and local funding as well as donations to operate.


The center employs 385 with facilities including a 44-bed psychiatric hospital, mobile crisis team, outpatient services, housing, and a unit with a special focus on treating mental health and addiction at the same time.


The center has money to operate 12 beds in the co-treatment program. They were always full in 2017, officials said. Among 72 participants during the year, 33 graduated, 27 were voluntarily discharged or terminated and 12 were continuing in the program, according to a presentation to state officials. Among the graduates, officials said all were discharged to stable housing, none went to a hospital psychiatric unit or jail within 180 days and 10 were able to secure full- or part-time employment.


Diverting those patients from jail or repeated hospitalization saved more than $700,000 in potential costs, De Piano argued. For an example of potential costs, treatment advocates have noted one man diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder was jailed 49 times in 40 months in Palm Beach County between March 2006 and July 2009, and was required to have... [ CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ]


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[CURATED CONTENT: Written By Charles Elmore , Published: February 15, 2018

- originally published on mypalmbeachpost.com]



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