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A Fresh Mindset

The Mental Health Collaborative is transforming lives

Perched in a tree above alligator-infested water for two and a half days before being rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, Lutreana developed sepsis and PTSD.

Perched in a tree above alligator-infested water for two and a half days before being rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, Lutreana developed sepsis and PTSD.

Each person’s story is unique. Some may be born with a predisposition for mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, depression, paranoia and/or schizophrenia. For those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s usually things they have witnessed or experienced that affect their mental health.

For patients and their families, it’s hard to discern where to go, whom to call, what to do. And even for those “in the know,” mental health resources have been fragmented. But fortunately, in February 2004, in response to findings from a community needs assessment sponsored by United Way of Indian River County, United Way, IRC Hospital District and The Robert F. and Eleonora W. McCabe Foundation, plus the IRC Board of County Commissioners, Indian River Medical Center, IRC Sheriff’s Office, Vero Beach Police Department and the state of Florida Department of Children and Family Services banded together to form the Mental Health Collaborative. The goal was to identify gaps in the mental health care continuum and find solutions for our county.

The Collaborative includes a diverse group of mental health providers and individuals, as well as private and public funders who work together to increase access, decrease duplication and build community-wide support for mental health.