Assessing Port Charlotte Mental Health Services

By Eliza Mendoza

The Port Charlotte mental health services of Florida are unique in one respect. They have a system hooked to the court system that allows persons with emotional disorders that have been arrested to receive treatment rather than be incarcerated. This is a volunteer program designed to keep persons who are diagnosed by doctors as having alcohol, drug or emotional problems from spending time in jail when they can use this program to make major changes in their lives.

Through this program many people have successfully made transitions from repeated jail stays to being a productive citizen in the community. This team of judges, state attorneys, probation and medical experts identify and offer the treatment program to individuals who qualify. The success rate is very high and this leads to a low rate of recidivism.

Their goals are to intervene for the accused and ensure that they receive treatment that is best suited to ensure both the public and the mentally ill are safely dealt with. They work to help provide counseling and other medical solutions in the least restrictive manner available for the accused. This also serves to prevent the defendants who have minor violations from languishing in jail when they should be getting treatment.

Another innovative approach to serving the mentally ill population here is a drop in center where people who have issues can stop by and spend time with peers who volunteer their time and experience in one on one and group settings. Student nurses and others who may be serving community service hours work alongside staff to create an atmosphere of acceptance and recovery to those who participate.

This group strives for an attitude of dreams instead of limitations believing that everyone has a right to fulfillment of their life dreams. Creating a life of self determination instead of dependency, where they help themselves and make their own decisions and rely on their own skills and talents. The staff strives to administer treatment in a caring manner and do not maintain the normal professional distance you find in other, more clinical facilities.

There are also several more standardized clinics for the mentally challenged available. These facilities serve all ages of clientele and have special teams for specific groups. They have numerous programs designed for children and for parenting children. They also have focus groups for drug addiction and alcoholism treatment. These clinics handle outpatient as well as more severe inpatient cases.

Some of the clinics offer case management for their clients. The case manager assists them with accessing services outside the clinical atmosphere. They also check on the client at least once a month to ensure they are doing well. The frequency of the home visits is dependent upon the severity of the clients' diagnosis and progress made with recovery.

One of the most important issues in cities is the mentally ill sector of the population and it is also one of the most under reported and untreated issues. Port Charlotte mental health services are making headway towards solving the problem of getting treatment to the ones who need it. Whether it is through the judicial system or with drop in clinics and medical settings this city can and does offer assistance regardless of your ability to pay.

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