Pensacola, Fla. (Oct. 14, 2022) – People struggling with psychosis now have access to specialized treatment thanks to a new program at Lakeview Center. Previously, the closest similar program was in Panama City, and clients often found themselves in-and-out of the hospital, potentially applying for Social Security at a young age, with illness limiting their ability to work.
Psychosis represents a highly vulnerable population, as clients are at increased risk to become victims of crime or human trafficking. Sometimes, they may end up in jail due to mental-illness related behaviors. In the first 12 months after diagnosis, people with psychosis are 24 times more likely to die – often from suicide or injury, accidental or intentional – than people of the same age range, according to the National Institute of Health.
Psychosis is a mental health condition that causes people to lose touch with reality. Symptoms of psychosis include delusions (false beliefs), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear), incoherent or nonsense speech, and behavior that is inappropriate for the situation. Lakeview Center’s program targets adults ages 18 to 35, as this is the most common age for diagnosis, and is designed for those in first-episode psychosis.
“This is a one-stop clinic model for people experiencing their first psychotic episode,” said Tasa Isaak, Lakeview Center’s director of care coordination services. “People suffering from psychosis need a highly specialized level of care, and often many team members with different roles need to be involved in treatment. This program brings together a comprehensive team so our clients can get the specialized care they need in one place. More convenience and better access mean more people can get help navigating a very difficult illness.”
Lakeview Center’s specialized team includes a licensed mental health counselor, a care coordinator and a psychiatrist, who can prescribe medications if needed, as well as a peer specialist who has lived experience dealing with mental health issues. The multidisciplinary team begins with evaluation and will personalize treatment based on the needs of each person.
Services will include education on processing episodes, coping with voices, setting goals, developing relationships, and medication management, since adherence is challenging for those with psychosis. Caregivers will also provide family therapy and education in order to support those closest to the client.
The program is open to residents of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties who meet screening criteria. To request an appointment, call 850-469-3500.
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