April 28 2020 – FORT PIERCE – New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee is immensely grateful to the Community Foundation of Martin and St. Lucie, as well as the St. Lucie County Children’s Services Council for granting funds to purchase additional iPads and laptops.
The technology has enabled 8,000 clients and their families to continue to receive outpatient mental health and addiction recovery services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Social distancing guidelines have temporarily closed eight New Horizons outpatient offices across St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties from conducting in-person appointments.
Now, instead of in-office sessions, children and adults are meeting face-to-face via video with New Horizon’s doctors, nurses, therapists, counselors, case managers, peers, and administrative staff, using communication applications such as Facetime, Skype and Zoom.
These connections can be lifesaving, considering the national rates of suicide and opioid use before this period of social-distancing, loss of employment and financial uncertainty.
“I can’t even count how many of clients have told me, ‘I’m so relieved you are still available, I don’t know where I’d be if you weren’t,’” said Jen Timothy, manager of the medication assisted treatment program, an outpatient approach to opioid addiction.
New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee, a nonprofit organization, is the region’s largest mental health provider, serving 15,000 children and adults annually through outpatient and inpatient programs.
The New Horizons Student Assistance Program, providing drug and alcohol prevention and anti-violence curricula to 20,000 plus students grades K through 12, also has been utilizing technology to stay in touch.
“Our engagement rate with clients has been very high during these most trying times due, in large part, to the convenience and ease of connecting online or by phone,” said George Shopland, New Horizons CEO. “We are grateful for these two grants affording us the ability to stay connected.”
The inpatient programs are based at the main campus in Fort Pierce and remain operational, including a children’s crisis stabilization unit, adult crisis stabilization unit, detox, 28-day drug and alcohol treatment, and an adult group home.
The New Horizons mobile crisis response team is also still functioning 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To learn more, please visit www.nhtcinc.org or call (772) 696-2729.