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$3 million fund for mental health and substance abuse care in Collier County

Posted at 7:39 AM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 09:02:22-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.  — The Community Foundation of Collier County is working to establish a $3 million fund to address the growing need for mental health and substance abuse care in the area.

This is the result of a community needs assessment the foundation did a few years back. Fox 4 has been working to provide you with detailed coverage on some of the other projects underway that stem from this assessment, including addressing housing and homelessness and environmental concerns.

Another big need identified was mental health. It's a need even more dire now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"What we found was here in Collier County, it's a thousand people per one counselor for mental health," said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Collier County.

Last year during the pandemic, David Lawrence Centers alone provided almost 300,000 services to people in Collier County.

"Our crisis calls in our crisis center have gone up, you know, by 20%. Our inpatient needs and the admissions to our Children's Mental Health Unit and our Adult Mental Health Unit are going up by 26% percent," said Scott Burgess, Chief Executive Officer at David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health.

The Community Foundation has provided David Lawrence Centers with a $250,000 grant to help hire five new professionals. Plus a $90,000 grant to address community awareness.

But the foundation needs your help to get to that $3 million goal to really address the issue. Learn how to help here.

If you need mental health or substance abuse support, call David Lawrence Centers at (239) 455-8500.