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
· 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)
· 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.
Learn more at www.RalesJFS.org.
Melissa Perlman, BlueIvy Communications