SalusCare celebrates 10 years since it was created after a merger between two long-standing mental and behavioral health agencies, Southwest Florida Addition Services and Lee Mental Health. The merger created the largest nonprofit mental health and substance abuse treatment agency in Southwest Florida.
Ten years later, SalusCare, named for Latin roots of “Salus,” (pronounced “Sail-us”) meaning health, prosperity and safety, continues to reflect that focus, while moving forward to meet the needs of the community.
“We offer the full continuum of behavioral health services,” says Stacey Cook, who had been with Lee Mental Health for 18 years before becoming the CEO of Salus Care in 2016. “It’s a huge win for the community to have all services truly connected.”
SalusCare is working to address the growing need for mental, behavioral and addiction services, which has been on the rise in the past few years. Cook says she expects the need to triple in the next five to 10 years.
Today, SalusCare employs more than 300 people who bring hope and recovery to nearly 16,000 adults and children with outpatient psychiatry and therapy, residential programs, recovery residences, emergency/crisis services, detox and community-based services from six locations in Lee County, improving care for children and adults.
Strategic planning currently underway includes envisioning ways to reduce the physical footprint by embracing technology. “With technology and telehealth, there are ways to better use resources and expand our reach,” Cook says. This year, texting for appointments was added.
Going forward, SalusCare wants to remain agile and at the forefront of promising treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, a non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain associated with major depression. “It has been found to work where traditional medicine has not,” Cook says.
SalusCare is licensed and partially funded in part through contracts by the Florida Department of Children and Families through the Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc., Lee County, third-party payers, insurance, patient fees, donations and as a United Way partner agency. To learn about or support SalusCare’s mental and behavioral health programs, visit saluscareflorida.org.
SalusCare is a Fort Myers-based, not-for-profit mental health and substance abuse service provider incorporated in 2013 after the merger of Lee Mental Health Center and Southwest Florida Addiction Services (SWFAS) to ultimately improve care for children and adults by utilizing one seamless system of care. “Salus” means health, prosperity and safety, reflecting the focus of the organization. A United Way partner agency, SalusCare has six locations with more than 300 employees throughout Southwest Florida, bringing hope and recovery to nearly 16,000 adults and children each year. All substance abuse programs and most mental health services are accredited by CARF International, an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. For information, visit saluscareflorida.org or call 239-275-3222.