Flagler County and its partners SMA Healthcare and Flagler Health+ are hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Flagler Access Center, which will provide an open door for education, screening, and connection to behavioral healthcare services in the area. The event will be held at 10 a.m. January 11, 2022 at the center located at 103 E. Moody Boulevard, Bunnell.
“We are thrilled to be a partner in this initiative that will provide a connection for behavioral healthcare services for the citizens of Flagler County,” said SMA Healthcare CEO Ivan Cosimi. “We have been looking for ways to expand our scope of services in the county, and we are confident this partnership will allow us to do just that.”
Flagler County officials were notified in June that the state would fund its top legislative priority: $245,000 to create a mental health access point. The Board of County Commissioners pledged to bolster the funding by $300,000 with money made available by the federal government through the American Rescue Plan.
“Addressing behavioral health issues – including drug abuse and the suicide rate – have been a priority,” said County Administrator Heidi Petito. “This initial funding is allowing us and our private-provider partners to operate this new center without immediate concerns about grant writing or fundraising. This is a big first step to meeting our goals for the community.”
All Flagler County residents are eligible to receive services from the Flagler Access Center. Individuals who come to the center will be screened and connected to appropriate services.
“Flagler County has been advocating for a project of this nature, and has stepped up to provide a convenient location for access to these much-needed services,” Cosimi said, noting that SMA Healthcare will provide walk-in screenings, crisis response, care coordination, and linkage to the federal housing effort known as PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) immediately at this new location. “Flagler Health+ will provide services for its ‘Be Resilient and Voice Emotions’ (BRAVE) program, which encourages youth to engage with mental health services early on in their life.”
The center will also utilize other social service providers within the county to provide a continuum of care.
A second phase of services will eventually be offered at the Flagler Access Center once licensure for the new facility has been obtained.
Those services – currently being provided at the SMA Healthcare facility on Justice Lane – include mental health therapy and substance use disorder therapy. Services for both are provided through individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, individualized treatment plans, and treatment plan reviews.
“This is an important milestone for Flagler County,” Petito said. “This will allow us to better serve everyone in the community.”
The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting. Light refreshments will be served.
Gina Weiss says
Congratulations Heidi Petito and to all who made this possible, so very much needed services for our community.
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Support for these people is justified and greatly benefits society as a whole.
Jay tomm says
545K to build out a slum clinic. Really that’s what this is. An excuse to spend “free” money. Location location location!
Rebecca Burns says
Do you have any family members that are struggling? Maybe if you did you would feel differently. That “slum building” will benefit a lot of individuals, so until you understand that some people are having difficulty with life maybe you should refrain from commenting.
Thank you Heidi Petito for caring enough about this community to help those in need.
Another one lost says
Sounds like a sweet deal for SMA. 500K given to SMA to open a clinic so SMA can evaluate people with mental health issues and promptly refer these people to SMA for treatment.
Sue Urban Co Founder and former member FCMHWA says
I guess what they say is ture! You can’t trust the government or the businesses they work with!!!
This was a very well documented grassroots idea presented by Flagler County Mental Health and Wellness Advocates (Ashley Firrantello Harwood Jill Luehrs Crawford Toni Mayes Sue Urban and Denise Calderwood) to both Flagler County Commission and the City of Palm Coast Council in multiple recorded meetings from 2019-2020 as well as private meetings with SMA Healthcare and Flagler Lifeline leaders, as well as members of the Flagler County School Board and told it would not work and no funds or buildings were available for such services in Flagler County.
It was the beginning of the the mobile HOPE Unit. As we tried to continue to do it on our own.
While I am happy services are FINALLY going to be offered in Flagler County. I fear people will not use them for fear of the business names associated with them and all of the failed promises made in the past.
Thank you Flagler County Commissioner’s for taking away the grassroots trust we had built in this community and turning it into another corporate mess that most people will fear and avoid.
****** MY THOUGHTS ARE MINE AND MINE ALONE AND IN NO WAY REPRESENT OR REFLECT ANY OF THE PEOPLE, THEIR BUSINESSES, NOR THIER EMPLOYERS THAT I MENTIONED IN THIS POST*******
Of course something like that is needed but not at that location! I would like to know which county commissioners approved something like that to be right next to a school? If it were there kids at that school this would of never happen. With these unstable people coming to this building is a security risk to the school. This should of NEVER been aloud to be this close to the school (right next to).