DeTar expands mental health services (video)

Elena Watts By Elena Watts

Aug. 15, 2013 at 3:15 a.m.

The DeTar  Lifestyle Center offers the first intensive outpatient psychiatric program in Victoria.

The DeTar Lifestyle Center offers the first intensive outpatient psychiatric program in Victoria.

For the first time, an intensive mental health outpatient program is available in Victoria.

DeTar Healthcare System expanded its services with the addition of an intensive outpatient program available to clients at least 18 years old.

The hospital already served adults 65 and older with a 20-bed inpatient psychiatric facility.

The outpatient center, DeTar Mental Health Lifestyle Center, fills a community need by providing therapeutic services when inpatient hospitalization is not necessary or no longer required, but traditional outpatient services are too limited for the individual's needs, said William R. Blanchard, DeTar's chief executive officer.

The four-week program serves stable adults with primary mental health diagnoses such as depression or anxiety. Self-referrals are acceptable, and program extensions are available as needed on an individual basis. For clients who qualify, the psychiatric services help integrate them successfully into outpatient settings in their communities.

"It's a natural step-down service from inpatient psychiatric treatment or a step-up for individuals who are in outpatient treatment but need more help functioning than that level of care provides," said Cindy Cassell, licensed clinical social worker with the center.

Three-hour morning sessions are offered three days per week, and four-hour afternoon sessions are offered two days per week.

Each session group consists of one to 12 clients. The center's team first assesses the patients to design appropriate programs. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to teach self-management and life-coping skills. A psychiatrist meets with clients at the beginning and end of the program. Relaxed sessions Fridays employ talk and art therapies, which teach clients to express themselves in creative ways.

Clients discharged from the Lifestyle Center follow up with outpatient providers, such as psychiatrists, counselors or social workers, in their home communities. Lifestyle Center staff members make the appointments prior to discharge.

"As with all health care, the costs to provide this or any other service depend on the individual's unique medical needs," said Judith Barefield, director of marketing for DeTar. "Care will be available regardless of the participants' ability to pay."



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