New Grant Enables Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services to Hire Full Time Psychiatrist

After Five Years with Part-Time Psychiatrist on Rales JFS Team, Excessive Weight Times and Growing Demand Led to Organization's Request for Funds to Hire Full Time Psychiatrist
By: Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services
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Mental Health


Boca Raton - Florida - US

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Aug. 30, 2019 - PRLog -- Mental Health concerns are on the rise in every community, including South Florida. Unfortunately, the senior population – which is often most at risk for depression, anxiety and other issues – is the least likely to get the help and support needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression and they do not seek help because they don't understand they could feel better with appropriate treatment.

·      Palm Beach County, FL, is home to 262,076 seniors, a higher percentage of seniors (22%) than any US county of comparable size.

·      Depression among Florida seniors (65-and-older) increased to 16 percent, or about 672,000 people.

·      Over 1 in 5 adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder, the most common of which are dementia and depression, according to the World Health Organization.

Rales JFS, which has provided affordable counseling and mental health services to those in need (regardless of religion) in South Palm Beach County since its inception 40 years ago, is committed to relieving the stress and what many call a shortage of mental health professionals available. In fact, JFS has had its own part-time psychiatrist, Dr. John Schosheim of Boca Raton, who has been on staff for the last five years. However, according to the JFS team, the needs of local community far exceeds current availability of time and resources.

"With wait times in excess of weeks to months and beyond, there simply isn't enough supply to meet the demand, leaving many seniors in need of care going untreated, undiagnosed and resorting to dangerous self-medication often from substance abuse and other harmfully needless measures," said Danielle Hartman, President & CEO of Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services.

Rales JFS has launched the JFS Psychiatry Program with the financial support of the Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation. The funding will allow JFS to hire a full-time psychiatrist (with a focus on seniors) within the program and offer services on a sliding scale – meaning patients will pay what they can; in addition, the program will pay for a full year of consulting with Dr. Susan W. Lehmann, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. JFS is also partnering with Florida Atlantic University to establish a community based practicum site for FAU Medical Psychiatry students.

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Melissa Perlman, BlueIvy Communications
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Tags:Mental Health
Location:Boca Raton - Florida - United States
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