Did you know that May is Mental Health awareness month?

 

The month of May is focused on raising awareness for mental health. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, it is estimated that 1:4 Americans will suffer from some sort of mental illness this year and that nearly 660,000 Floridians live with a serious mental illness every day.

Mental illness is particularly difficult for those facing homelessness. In a recent presentation made by Dr. Richard Christensen, Sulzbacher Center’s Director of Behavioral Health Services, at JCCI’s “Unlocking the Pieces: Community Mental Health in Northeast Florida”, Dr. Christensen shared sobering statistics about the impact of mental illness within the population of persons contending with homelessness in Jacksonville: “Mental illness needs to be understood as both a cause and consequence of homelessness among persons who are living on our streets and in our shelters. Current research estimates that anywhere from 25-30 % of persons experiencing homelessness struggle with a serious mental illness.”

Many Jacksonville residents are familiar with The Sulzbacher Center, but some do not realize the medical services offered by the Sulzbacher Clinics. In addition to primary health care and dental services, the Sulzbacher Clinics also provide Behavior Health services such as mental health diagnosis, treatment, counseling, medication management, and medical case management. The Sulzbacher Clinics provide healthcare to uninsured or homeless residents of downtown Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach. After being seen by the clinic’s primary health physician, patients who may benefit from behavioral health services are referred to the Behavioral Health division, free of charge.

“We are seeing a steady increase in those requesting behavioral health services,” explains Christensen.” Over the past 12 months, the Sulzbacher Downtown Clinic had almost 4,000 patient visits with close to 400 new patients. The Sulzbacher Beaches Clinic had close to 2,000 total behavioral health visits with over 150 new patients.

In 2011 Lisa was homeless. She was referred to the Sulzbacher Downtown Clinic by a partner agency. Thanks to her mental health counselor, and two years of hard work on Lisa’s part, she is steadily improving. “I was suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder. I was having thoughts of taking my own life. I started receiving counseling from Tory Wilcox, (a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at the Sulzbacher Downtown Clinic). She helped me understand my behavior.” Lisa now says with her ongoing treatment “…the voices are gone, I am not as confused or panic as easily. I no longer have nightmares and [I] haven’t tried to kill myself or even wanted to. I wouldn’t be here without the help of the Sulzbacher Center. I am thankful for everyone who helped me, and who is continuing to help me.”

Lisa is just one story of how important and impactful behavioral health services can be. The Behavioral Health Clinic at the Sulzbacher Center sees patients every day like Lisa and is able to help them. Providing behavioral health services for those who need the services is crucial to helping individuals find the way home.

 

We Invite You to Join our Monthly Giving Club, The Way Home Circle of Friends!

Impactful:  

Your monthly gift will work hard, providing the Sulzbacher Center with a reliable and cost-effective source of critical funds necessary to respond to the ever-growing need for meals and shelter, to expand our life-changing services and programs, and to plan effectively for the future.

Examples of what your monthly gift can provide:

$10.00 – A healthy meal for 5 hungry men, women or children

$15.00 – A night of safe shelter and a hot meal for a homeless mother and her children

$25.00 – Supplies for children’s arts and crafts projects or fitness enrichment activities

$50.00 – Eyeglasses for 3 adults in need

$100.00 – Helps with admission, housing and daily living supports to homeless, college bound youth             (Sulzbacher in-Sight program)

$125.00 – Move-in housekeeping kits for homeless veterans transitioning into permanent housing

Resourceful:

Because your monthly gift is processed automatically, you help us reduce fundraising costs, allowing us to fund more programs and services that help our homeless residents find the way home. This means more of your gift goes directly to helping the less fortunate people we serve. You will not receive periodic appeals for support, but you will receive our newsletters and invitations to special events.

Simple and convenient:

By giving regularly, you’ll receive the good feeling of supporting the Sulzbacher Center mission you have come to believe in without having to initiate a gift contribution yourself. No checks, no postage costs, no hassles. Monthly giving also allows you to make a larger, more budget-friendly contribution by spreading your gift over a period of 12 months. For example, if you choose to give $250.00, your monthly gift will be $21.00. Knowing we can count on your monthly gift allows us to plan ahead to ensure homeless citizens in our community can depend on us for hope and help putting their lives back together.

Ready to begin?  

To begin giving monthly, simply click on the Donate Now box on our website and register securely to make a credit card donation each month. After you make your first gift, all future gifts will be charged automatically each month to your credit card. For example, if you choose to make a monthly donation of $25.00 today, your next donation of $25.00 will be automatically charged to your credit card in exactly one month to the day and each subsequent month thereafter. The amount and date of your monthly gift will appear on your credit card statement. You may change your monthly gift amount or cancel your donation at any time.

Double Your Gift to the Sulzbacher Center with a Matching Gift!

Many companies provide matching gift opportunities to their employees. These matching gifts are an easy, no cost way to increase the impact of your gift to the Sulzbacher Center. Whether you make a financial contribution or volunteer your time, your employer may have a provision to make a donation to recognize your gifts or volunteer efforts. Simply check with your employer directly to determine if a matching gift is offered.

Every dollar counts. Thank you for requesting a matching gift from your participating employer.

Questions? Please contact Linda Hemphill, Donor Relations Manager, at 904-394-8051 or lindahemphill@tscjax.org.