Letter: DBT Therapy could improve the mental health crisis

Dear County Commissioners and Sheriff Watson,

We definitely have a crisis in Alachua County when it comes to mental health. There are solutions and therapy called DBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, that can help with a 95% recovery rate. Look up DBT on YouTube–it’s proven to help, but you need a trained therapist. 

At Meridian there is an internal issue going on where employees don’t want to go to work because of how employees are treated by supervisors.

When you call Meridian, you never know what location in the 8th Judicial District is answering. 

When you ask to speak to the CEO and want a meeting with him to explain DBT and the recovery rate, you are rerouted from the Administrative Secretary to the Marketing Director, who has all the answers apparently on how all the money will be used for Meridian. 

We as citizens want to reduce the mental health crises by hoping the Commissioners will influence the Meridian Marketing Director and her CEO to hire social workers and licensed therapists trained to help clients. 

Patients refuse to come to appointments or don’t even want to come on the property because how they are treated by employees they see at the window when they check in. The lobby is nasty and dirty.

The Current Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) at Meridian has many issues, with clients who refuse to come back because of how they are treated. It smells nasty and is dirty.

Meridian, Shands Vista, and North Florida, for both outpatients and inside the CSU units, should use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which can be used for both individual and group therapy. It has a proven record with a 95% recovery rate for those suffering with mental illness, even those dual diagnosed.

This therapy is a special training for social workers and therapists, and Meridian could use money wisely by investing in this training to help mental health patients. 

This program therapy should also be required during incarceration, any kind of Mental Health Court or Drug Court, as well as those in the Work Release Program through the jail; the year-long therapy should be ordered by the Court.

Please let us all work together and help those with mental illness to recover and reduce our mental health crisis in Alachua County, getting clients the right therapy they need to recover and live a better life.

The Gainesville Opportunity Center (GOC), The Club House for those with mental illness, is also wanting to partner with Meridian, Shands Vista, and North Florida to help make this DBT treatment possible. Anyone with a mental health illness  just has to have a letter from a doctor with a diagnosis to be a member. 

When members come to the GOC, there will be Peer-to-Peer support with those who have been through DBT and can help members help going through the DBT treatment. GOC staff cannot teach the DBT treatment at GOC because there is not a therapist on staff at GOC. 

DBT treatment is important. Please let’s get Meridian to hire trained counselors, reduce our jail population, and reduce crime by forcing this treatment as Court-ordered. DBT-trained counselors in Gainesville tell you the success rate is over 95% 


Concerned Citizens – The Gunter Family, Wetherington Families 

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    • Is DBT for only behavioral patients, not psychologically damaged by drug addiction patients? The latter are often too far gone to save, like brain damaged.

  • They should have GPS tracking devices on them
    And if they don’t go to therapy, then incarceration.

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