The Wellness Connection is a community collaborative to improve access to behavioral health services.
Working together has shown to be the most efficient and effective way to provide care and The Wellness Connection brings together mental and physical health care providers to build a wellness-based future for Pinellas County residents.
Through on-site and virtual collaboration between behavioral health treatment providers, local acute care receiving facilities, community primary care providers, homeless providers, NAMI, law enforcement, educational institutions, and the faith-based community, Pinellas County can ultimately create and sustain a seamless integrated behavioral health care system, where individuals can receive appropriate, timely, and quality behavioral health care. The Wellness Connection serves as a single point of entry and virtual hub linking the spokes of the ambulatory community network through a “no wrong door” approach to screening and assessment. Case management, care coordination, and outpatient services will assure rapid linkage and connectivity.
Goal & Objectives
The goal of The Wellness Connection is to improve access to appropriate behavioral health treatment resources and to decrease the utilization of hospital emergency departments, jails, prisons, and homeless programs due to behavioral health emergencies.
- Provide a system of care for the targeted populations
- Provide initial assessments, triage, case management, and related services
- Provide virtual triage to support law enforcement officers, emergency medical services providers, and emergency room providers
- Improve access and reduce processing time for law enforcement officials transporting individuals needing behavioral health services
- Provide opportunities to enhance current jail diversion services
- Reduce inappropriate utilization of emergency rooms
- Increase the quality and quantity of services available through coordination of care and recovery support services including assertive engagement, expanded capacity of psychiatric services, an adult addiction receiving facility, intensive case management, and wrap-around services
- Implement standardized behavioral health assessment tools and procedures for service
The guiding principles of The Wellness Connection align with a recovery-oriented system of care approach that is integral and evident in service delivery that includes:
- A “no wrong door” approach for individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use including those individuals with co-occurring disorders
- Person-centered, culturally relevant, safe, welcoming environment focusing on the individual’s needs and preferences
- Trauma-informed environment with a focus to avoid imposing any further trauma throughout a crisis response
- A strength-based approach building on assets and resources including family, community, and other natural supports
- Creating an opportunity for hope and a pathway to recovery including the recovery community with peer involvement
- Consideration for a balance between treatment and public safety
- Effective partnerships and continuity of services and supports
- Services offered in the least restrictive environment, with a diversion from inpatient admissions or incarceration as a routine method of intervention
- Outcome driven system of care with accountable collaboration
- First responders, law enforcement, treatment providers, persons served, families and natural supports as partners
- Comprehensive crisis screening and evaluation provided in a safe, non-threatening, non-coercive manner, and always respectful of individual rights
- Access to a higher level of care when appropriate
- Linkage to outpatient services as needed for on-going behavioral health treatment
- Individualized, person-centered services tailored to gender, age, race, sexual orientation, culture, literacy and the abilities of the individual to communicate with staff
- Peer Specialists and Care Coordinators who are available during and following the initial crisis
- Services that take consideration of advance directives, preferred providers, personal choices, and options for financing care
- Shared responsibility and decision making between providers and persons served
- A defined responsibility for care coordination with clear consents and collaborative methods for gathering and sharing necessary information to promote integrated physical and behavioral health services
See a list of our care providers and their services here.