People suffering from a mental health crisis can avoid the emergency room at Flagler Hospital and opt for the new CAIR center.
The Crisis Assessment Intervention and Referral Center provides mental and behavioral health services to both youth and adults in a more peaceful environment, Flagler Health + officials said.
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The CAIR Center’s goals are to reduce “unnecessary Baker Act approvals” and help people avoid criminal justice, as well as to reduce repeated hospital visits “while providing a supportive and supportive environment for those in mental health crisis.” Flagler Health + news release.
The center has been in operation for several weeks, but Flagler Health + officials celebrated the inauguration on Thursday morning with a ribbon-cutting at 300 Health Park Blvd., Suite 1008. Officials invited the media and others to pay a visit.
In cutting the ribbon, Carlton DeVooght, CEO of Flagler Health +, said the center is helping to fill a gap in community coverage. He said many people do not receive the care they need because there is no mental health and behavioral health service in Florida.
“When we work with our partners like EPIC Behavioral Healthcare and St. Augustine Youth Services, we have seen that those who need mental health services need to be offered a less traumatic entry point,” DeVooght said.
An open house for the general public has been organized from 10:00 to 12:00 on June 19. More information about the center can be found at flaglerhealth.org/CAIR or by calling 904-819-5204.
In addition to providing crisis assessment and interventions, the center provides referrals and helps establish long-term connections with providers, according to Flagler Health +. The center helps people connect with other resources they may need.
“Often, the mental health struggle is linked to other household needs: insecurity of food, lack of stable housing, difficulties in obtaining prescriptions, and more,” the statement said. “The CAIR Center then uses Care Connect +, a program established by Flagler Health +, to connect patients with other critical resources. … “
People do not need to have insurance to get help from the CAIR Center, said Valerie Duquett, head of the Flagler Health + Behavioral Health Department.
“That’s not a factor for us,” he said. “We’re not worried about a pay source. We’re here to provide a service to the community.”
Flagler Health + Director Vincent Johnson said about 5 Americans will be diagnosed with mental health this year, according to statistics released by the nonprofit Mental Health America. He said the center is a “huge benefit” to the community.
“It’s an opportunity to care for people who wouldn’t otherwise be cared for,” he said. “And there has never been a need for mental health care to be at the forefront and center of everything we do for our community.”
The state of Florida has about $ 8 million for the CAIR Center, DeVooght said.
The videos and art posted at the center encourage relaxation with beach scenes, butterflies and other serene images.
Local Heartspace Art murals centered on one, called “Look Inside,” which encourages people to “breathe,” and another, called “The Journey Home,” featuring butterflies flying next to a woman sitting.
“(Heartspace Art) was a concept that we wanted to create based on what we wanted, a space that was soothing and welcoming and that we wanted a place where people could feel comfortable,” Duquette said.
People who go to the ER because of a mental health concern may experience more stress.
“You get people in and out,” Duquett said. “Different levels of trauma. Different levels of injury and illness. A lot of noise. A lot of noise. A lot of stimulation. And that can be horrible for people.”
He added: “This place allows people who don’t need these hospitalization services to come in and have a different environment. It’s quieter. It’s quieter. It’s inviting. There’s not all that extra stimulation.” “
The center has separate areas for young people and adults. The staff includes three therapists and three reception staff, as well as staff to assist in reception and care coordination, Duquett said. The center plans to add psychiatrists.
The center is for outpatients, so there are no beds. If people need to be hospitalized, the CAIR Center team is working with the emergency room to take the adults there, Duquett said. If minors need more support than the hospital or CAIR Center can provide, the team works to coordinate care with St. Augustine Youth Services or move them to a facility in Jacksonville.
People are also using the CAIR Center for regular counseling sessions, Duquette said.
“We’re here right now Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Duquett said. “You can come in. You can call. You can find information about us on our website and how to contact us. You can show up … We want you to come, and we hope we will open that. “.