Sunday, June 17, 2018
Health

Pinellas Park home for youths with behavioral problems to close

PINELLAS PARK — As a result of a shift toward home treatment, the youth group home at Personal Enrichment Through Mental Health Services will close by the start of the summer.

The Pinellas Park nonprofit, known as PEMHS, ran the home for boys and girls ages 11 to 18 with behavioral problems for almost five years. The group home served as a transition from the Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program back to the family or foster family. At PEMHS, the teens attend their local public school but receive therapy and live at 11254 58th St. N for up to three months.

PEMHS decided to close the 12-bed wing after seeing a lack of consistent referrals, said executive director Tom Wedekind. Parents can opt out of sending their child to a state-approved group home and instead get treatment at home.

Coupled with the cost of maintaining a regulated staff-to-student ratio, the group home has been bleeding financially for years with waves of low enrollment. The home has just five children now.

"That seems to be the way mental health responses seem to be going," Wedekind said.

He said the group home staff of 11 will be redistributed to a new in-home program as well as a children's crisis unit and adult unit. There are no plans yet for the facility.

PEMHS is funded by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration and Eckerd Community Alternatives.

While the program is not accepting more teens, current clients will be able to finish their programs and leave with a discharge plan.

The closing of the PEMHS wing means spillover for Carlton Manor, the only remaining residential treatment center for children and adolescents in Pinellas County.

Carlton Manor executive director Paul Buxbaum has been in talks with PEMHS about moving some boys to Carlton Manor, which has a few openings. Carlton Manor might have to make room for girls, as the home now is just for boys, ages 7 to 17.

"We're interested in expanding services, be it for girls or for boys," Buxbaum said.

He said his three group homes with a capacity for a total of 34 boys have seen a steady occupancy rate of 90 percent. He attributed the program's success to its strong relationship with the community and parental involvement.

"We appear to be less institutional," he said. "Our kids attend school every day in the community."

Though referrals occasionally decrease, and in-home programs are on the rise, Buxbaum said there's always a need for a transitional program.

"Whether that in-home program can provide the intensive level of service for whatever these kids need to make a successful transition, we'll find out within the next year," he said.

Colleen Wright can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8913. Follow her @Colleen_Wright on Twitter.

Comments
Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

The extensive government trial was intended to settle an age-old question about alcohol and diet: Does a daily cocktail or beer really protect against heart attacks and stroke?To find out, the National Institutes of Health gave scientists $100 millio...
Published: 06/16/18
More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults are taking prescription drugs, including hormones for contraception, blood pressure medications and medicines for heartburn, that carry a potential risk of depression, according to a study published in the Journal...
Published: 06/12/18
Itís time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

Itís time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

Courtney Bilyeu was running toward the murky water alongside a few military officers when it happened.She was an accountant for the U.S. Navy at the time. And on her way to take a swim with some coworkers in a California beach, she saw blood. The wat...
Published: 06/12/18
Itís important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

Itís important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

The next time you head to the drugstore to buy sunscreen, donít forget to pick up some sunglasses, too. Thatís because both products work to protect your body from the sunís damaging ultraviolet rays.Wearing sunglasses for protection should not be re...
Published: 06/09/18
In St. Pete, kidney patients gather for science and solidarity

In St. Pete, kidney patients gather for science and solidarity

ST. PETERSBURG ó Kidney disease doesnít discriminate.The crowd of more than 200 patients who gathered at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort range in age from teenagers to seniors. They are of different ethnicities and come from all over the...
Published: 06/08/18
Mayo Clinic Q&A: melanomas of the eye; how long should you take a beta blocker?

Mayo Clinic Q&A: melanomas of the eye; how long should you take a beta blocker?

YES, MELANOMAS CAN BEGIN IN THE EYEIs it true that melanoma can develop in the eyes? If so, how common is it? How is it treated?Melanomas can begin in the eye, a condition called intraocular melanoma. Treatment for intraocular melanomas used to prima...
Published: 06/08/18
For writer, using a heart rate monitor takes HIIT from frightening to fun

For writer, using a heart rate monitor takes HIIT from frightening to fun

High-intensity interval training is one of the biggest trends in fitness, but it has always seemed a bit scary to me. To a mere mortal with achy knees and an aging body, even the acronym ó HIIT ó sounded intimidating.But recently, I overcame my fears...
Published: 06/08/18
Enjoy broccolini the Italian way: Ďdraggedí

Enjoy broccolini the Italian way: Ďdraggedí

By KATIE WORKMANOne of the amazing things about Italian food is that the best dishes are often so completely, refreshingly simple. Like, four-ingredient simple. (We donít count olive oil and salt. Or water. Or air.) I love broccoli. I can roast brocc...
Published: 06/08/18
What to get Dad? Try a Fatherís Day gift that will do him good

What to get Dad? Try a Fatherís Day gift that will do him good

Dads are notoriously tough to shop for. Theyíre not all that great at dropping hints, the way moms do, and if you ask what your dad might want or need for Fatherís Day, heíll likely say, "Nothing" or "Donít spend your money" or "I just want to be wit...
Published: 06/08/18
Tampa council hears mixed messages on free-roaming roosters in Ybor City

Tampa council hears mixed messages on free-roaming roosters in Ybor City

TAMPA ó Ybor City roosters and chickens can peck away in peace. For now.The Tampa City Council asked city attorneys and code enforcement officials Thursday to continue studying how to reduce the growing flock in the cityís historic heart, but no acti...
Published: 06/07/18