Mental health services in St. Lucie

At St. Lucie Medical Center, we make mental health care a priority. We know psychological concerns are just as important as physical problems.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a behavioral health condition, you are not alone. Our psychiatrists and mental health professionals provide the comprehensive resources and compassionate support you need to improve your mental health.

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255). St. Lucie County also provides a warm line at 211 for patients needing a referral or peer support.

Remember, a mental health emergency is a medical emergency. If you require immediate care, please visit your nearest emergency room.

At St. Lucie Medical Center, we offer inpatient and outpatient behavioral health programs to ensure our patients have access to the levels of care they need. These programs work hand-in-hand, as patients often enter our intensive outpatient program as a step down following an inpatient hospital stay.

Both our inpatient and outpatient programs provide specialized care for veterans residing in St. Lucie and the Greater West Palm Beach area. We offer experienced care for veterans facing substance abuse problems and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Inpatient behavioral health unit

The St. Lucie Medical Center behavioral health department is a 22-bed, locked hospital unit. When in our unit, patients can receive comprehensive, short-term psychiatric and medical care in a safe, supportive and therapeutic environment.

For more information about our inpatient services, please call our inpatient nursing station at (772) 398-3500.

Services in our inpatient unit may include:

  • Crisis stabilization
  • Daily sessions with a psychiatrist
  • Individual, group and family therapy options
  • Education courses
  • Medication management

Our inpatient unit is staffed with highly trained psychiatrists, registered nurses and social workers, and our social workers help patients plan for discharge after an inpatient stay.

Each patient's treatment is tailored to his or her needs with the priority of stabilizing their mental health state and sense of overall well-being. We accept most commercial insurances, Medicare and Medicaid.

Substance abuse treatment

For patients entering our care with a substance abuse disorder or chemical dependency, we offer a dual diagnosis tract. This is a specialized program for the treatment of substance abuse. We provide medically supervised detoxification, so patients can begin their recovery process.

Our on-staff social workers and addiction counselors provide resources to aid patients in continuing the work started during hospitalization.

Intensive outpatient program

St. Lucie Medical Center offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for patients in need of structured mental health support but not to the extent to warrant an inpatient hospital stay. Our IOP is a voluntary program lasting four to six weeks, depending on the needs of each patient.

To learn more about our intensive outpatient program, please contact our program staff at either (772) 398-1620 or (772) 398-1640.

Patients participate in the IOP Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon on a weekly basis. Patients will accumulate nine hours of intensive care every week.

Our IOP commonly treats the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Trauma
  • Grief and loss
  • Relationship concerns
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Adjustment problems
  • Stress management

During treatment days, patients will attend three group sessions. Our groups are facilitates by licensed, trained clinicians and mental health professionals. Additionally, our on-staff psychiatrists are available and offer medication management services.

Meals are provided on group meeting days, and we accept Medicare and most major commercial insurances. Our IOP takes place in the Port St. Lucie Medical Plaza Building located right next to St. Lucie Medical Center. Our offices are located in Suite 10.

Signs and symptoms of mental illness

The symptoms of mental illness will differ based on the type of condition a patient is facing. Although, the following symptoms are warning signs to look out for:

  • Excessive worry or fear
  • Prolonged confusion
  • Consistent feelings of sadness
  • Extreme changes in eating habits
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawal from family, friends or hobbies
  • Hallucinations or loss of reality
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Outbursts of anger or violence
  • Physical issues, such as dizziness, fatigue and rapid heartbeat

Factors contributing to mental illness

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a patient experiencing mental illness, including, but not limited to:

  • Family history—If you have a close relative with mental health problems, you are at a higher risk for developing a similar condition, since certain characteristics may be inherited.
  • Traumatic experience—You may be at increased risk if you have been involved with war or other violence. The same is true if you were physically or sexually abused as a child.
  • Biological factors—If you have incurred a brain injury or if you were exposed to viruses or toxins while you were in your mother’s womb, your mental functions can be affected.
  • Stressful situations—If you are going through a divorce, grieving a death or experiencing financial problems, these concerns can lead to psychological issues.
  • Drug abuse—Using drugs can alter the way your brain functions, which affects your mental health.

Mental health support group

Our mental health support group is designed to provide support for loved ones who are trying to help someone manage their mental health needs. We know this can be a stressful task, and we provide the support you need to better support your loved one.

Our mental health support group is free to attend and meets every Tuesday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm in the Port St. Lucie Medical Plaza Building. All family members or friends in need of their own support are welcome to attend.

This support group is facilitated by a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) on our intensive outpatient program staff. For more information about this support group, please contact us at (772) 398-1620.

Why attend a behavioral health support group?

Support groups bring together people dealing with similar issues, such as mental illness, physical illness or other social stressors. Members share experiences and advice. It can be helpful for many people, but not everyone needs a support group.

The following are benefits of participating in a support group:

  • Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
  • Feeling more in control of your current situation
  • Improving coping skills
  • Being able to talk openly and honestly about your feelings
  • Reducing stress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
  • Getting practical advice or information about treatment options
  • Learning about local resources

Inpatient and outpatient mental health admissions

Our inpatient behavioral health unit is a Baker Act receiving facility, allowing for involuntary admission if specific legal criteria are met. Our inpatient unit also accepts voluntary admissions and referrals from local psychiatrists, primary care providers and therapists in St. Lucie.

Our intensive outpatient program is a strictly voluntary admission program.