Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Clinical Assessment?

The Clinical Assessment service is the first step on your journey to wellness. New and returning clients can walk into our Access Center during business hours, or they can visit our Virtual Care Center to get started with the registration process online. From there, you may meet with a qualified clinician who will assess your needs and ensure you are referred to the program that will help you to reach your goals. As part of this initial session, your assessing clinician will schedule a follow-up appointment with a professional that has experience in what you’re going through. Contact our Access Services department to complete a brief questionnaire and to find out the best time to walk in for the assessment service. In some cases, we may request medical records or referrals as part of the assessment process.

What is Therapy?

Therapy, also called psychotherapy or counseling, is the process of talking to a trained professional about a wide range of life challenges: emotional distress, anxiety, family difficulties, mood problems, grief, and loss, or relationship problems. It can also be used to aid in personal growth, meet personal goals, and improve the ability to cope with stress and everyday problems. This service lasts approximately 60 minutes.

What is a Psychiatric Evaluation?

This service is for those who have received a clinical assessment and were referred to the doctor to be evaluated for the possibility of medications to help them feel better. This initial appointment with the psychiatrist lasts approximately 60-75 minutes. The psychiatrist will make recommendations and prescribe medication(s) when appropriate.

What is Medication Management?

This service is for those who are prescribed medications by a David Lawrence Centers psychiatrist. Individuals will meet with the psychiatrist with a certain level of frequency (depending on the individual) to discuss how prescribed medications are working and to adjust as needed. This service lasts approximately 30 minutes.

What services are available other than those described above?

David Lawrence Centers has 40 different programs and services designed to meet your mental health and substance use needs. Our programs provide prevention, intervention, and treatment for a variety of problems that affect people today.

Are recommendations made by David Lawrence Centers providers mandatory to follow up with?

Treatment recommendations are voluntary in most cases. If referred for services from an outside provider, check to see if the referring agency requires you to follow up with treatment recommendations.

What ages do you treat?

Ages 3 and older

Do I have to stay with my minor child/adolescent for his or her appointment?

Guardians must also be present for any Medical Services appointment. Additionally, they must be present for any appointments to review the child’s/adolescent’s treatment plan and for family therapy, as appropriate.

David Lawrence Centers offers acute inpatient care, residential substance use care, an intensive outpatient program (IOP), outpatient care, and prevention level of care. Additional information can be found on our website.

Will I have to take medication as part of the treatment?

Taking medication is voluntary, but it may be indicated for certain disorders or problems. This will be part of the discussion with your therapist. We have psychiatrists who are available for evaluation and consultation, and who can prescribe medication.

Do you accept clients who struggle with an eating disorder?

We do not specialize in the treatment of eating disorders but can diagnose and refer to community agencies whose expertise is eating disorders.

What if I have a co-occurring diagnosis?

Your treatment team which may include a therapist, psychiatrist, and/or case manager will have experience in treating co-occurring diagnosis and can help you address your concerns.

What about confidentiality?

David Lawrence Centers is committed to protecting your confidentiality as mandated by state and federal law. Each staff member is obligated to be familiar with and to observe these laws and standards. We are diligent about our responsibility to protect the anonymity of everyone who receives services at David Lawrence Centers . We do not release any information without verified, written consent from the individual containing specific, legally-required elements.

Does DLC offer transportation?


Does DLC offer housing for people in the community/the general public?

Those interested in housing should contact the Collier County Housing Authority at 239-732-0732.

Who should I contact with questions?

Prior to admission at David Lawrence Centers , the primary contact is the Access Center department. After admission, the main contact is the assigned primary provider.

What can I do if I am unhappy or unsatisfied with my services?

Ask to speak to a manager to discuss your concerns. You may also complete an official grievance for any unresolved issues.

How do I access services at David Lawrence Centers ?

The Clinical Assessment service is the first step on your journey to wellness. New and returning clients can simply walk -in to our Access Center during business hours, or they can visit our Virtual Care Center to get started with the registration process online. From there, you may meet with a qualified clinician who will assess your needs and ensure you are referred to the program that will help you to reach your goals. As part of this initial session, your assessing clinician will schedule a follow-up appointment with a professional that has experience in what you’re going through. Contact our Access Services department to complete a brief questionnaire and to find out the best time to walk in for the assessment service. In some cases, we may request medical records or referrals as part of the assessment process.

After business hours, our Emergency Services Assessment Center (ESAC) is available to provide brief triage and in some cases, provide a full clinical assessment.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

Please bring your insurance card, identification, and payment for services rendered.

Depending on your referral source, we may also require that referral documents and historical information are provided.

If you do not have insurance and would like to apply for a discount, please contact Access Center for information on the required documents to process the discount.

What can I expect at my first appointment?

Check-in with the receptionist: The receptionist will ask you to provide demographic information, your insurance or financial documents, referral/historical documents, and to complete intake paperwork.

Intake Services: You will meet with a skilled intake specialist who will answer any questions you have about the registration paperwork and ask that you sign electronically to confirm understanding. Your intake specialist will also explain your insurance coverage and financial obligations. If you are referred for a clinical assessment, you will be asked to pay for your service per your insurance benefits or your financial assessment if applying for the discount. For self pay customers, the minimum fee due at time of service is $45 for same-day assessments. Intake services take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Clinical Assessment: You may meet with one of our caring professionals for your Clinical Assessment. If clinically indicated, you will leave your session scheduled for a follow-up appointment with someone experienced in helping you in what you’re experiencing. The Clinical Assessment may take between 1 ½ – 2 hours.*Same day assessments are our goal. If we are unable to provide an assessment today, we will make other arrangements to accommodate your needs.

Clinical Triage: If you are unable to stay for the Clinical Assessment today, you will meet with a skilled intake clinician who will ask questions to make sure we offer the services you are looking for. Your intake clinician will also answer any questions you may have. Clinical Triage may take approximately 15-30 minutes.

How long will I have to wait for a first appointment?

Clinical Assessments are available on a walk-in basis, first come first serve. We encourage you to call ahead to check availability.

How long does the Clinical Assessment last?

1 ½ – 2 hours depending on your needs.

What if I am court ordered for an assessment? What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring your arrest and booking report, photo ID, and payment for services rendered.

I want to see a psychiatrist for medications. Why do I have to have a Clinical Assessment first?

David Lawrence Centers offers a wide variety of helpful services and programs that sometimes aren’t known to the customer. By meeting with a clinician at the time of admission, you can rest assured that you are being referred to the best program FOR YOU that David Lawrence Centers offers.

How much does treatment cost?

Fees vary based on the service, the level of care, and your insurance benefits.

What insurance do you accept?

David Lawrence Centers is a contracted provider for many insurance plans. Most insurance companies also have “out of network” benefits for treatment in those cases where we are not an in-network provider. Insurance benefits will be verified prior to any billable service. Any fees not paid by your insurance will be collected at the time of service or billed to you.

Will insurance cover my services?

Insurance coverage depends on an individual’s health care plan. Please contact your insurance carrier to verify mental health and/or substance use benefits at the David Lawrence Centers .

Does David Lawrence Centers accept Medicaid or Medicare?

We are contracted with Florida Medicaid and Medicare for outpatient services. Medicare and certain types of Medicaid do not pay for residential and inpatient services and the David Lawrence Centers .

I have no insurance. How much does it cost?

Fees for service vary depending on the service type and the level of care. The initial Clinical Assessment is $195 without insurance. Self Pay customers may apply for a discount by providing proof of household income prior to service being rendered.

I can’t afford to pay the full fee. What are my options?

New or returning clients should contact Access Center for information on documents required to apply for the sliding scale fee discount. Current clients should contact the program they receive services in for additional information.

If I have insurance, can I apply for the sliding scale discount?

You may apply for the discount if your insurance does not offer any mental health or substance use benefits or if you run out of your benefits for this year.

Do you accept payment plans?

Payment plans are accepted in some cases. You will need to contact the Accounts Receivable Department to arrange a payment plan.

Why do you need household income to process the sliding scale discount? Can’t I just provide my income?

David Lawrence Centers is required by contract with the state of Florida to obtain documentation showing household income. Discounts cannot be issued without documentation showing full household income.

What happens when a client arrives in the Crisis Unit?

Upon arrival, the nurse will explain to the client/guardian/parent in the following process:

  • The psychiatrist will evaluate the client within 24 hours and together with the treatment team, decide on an appropriate treatment plan.
  • The nurse will need some information from the parent/guardian on medical history, allergies, medications, and any consent for treatment we may need. In addition, the nurse will discuss setting up a family meeting if appropriate to ensure the best discharge plan for the client and family.
  • During the course of the client’s stay in the Crisis Unit, you may be contacted by several different staff members to gather critical medical and clinical information. We are dedicated to ensuring that your loved ones receive the most exceptional care possible while in our care. As a result, at times you be may be asked the same questions more than once in order to ensure a thorough and detailed approach.
When are the visiting hours and what are the visitation policies?

The staff will review visitation hours for the unit with you. If visiting a minor, you will be required to present a photo ID prior to entering the Children’s Crisis Unit. Visitation policies require that all visitors lock up anything you have in your pockets including cell phones, car keys, etc. When you check in at the window for visitation, the staff will assist you to prepare properly to ensure everyone’s safety.

What are the goals of the Crisis Stabilization Services?

The goal of the Crisis Stabilization Services is to keep everyone safe, assist to stabilize the client and ensure their safe discharge. The treatment team provides a clear evaluation of the client’s mental health needs, clarifies their view of the priority problem areas, discusses and clarifies diagnoses, and reviews recommendations for treatment, medication, and follow-up services/appointments. Most importantly, the Crisis Unit staff hopes to provide clients and families with education on how to address mental health and substance use issues, identify all available resources and provide encouragement, hope, and an environment that promotes life-changing wellness to achieve all that is possible for a healthy and meaningful life.

What is the Crisis Stabilization Unit?

DLC’s Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) is a 30-bed unit with an 11-bed children’s unit. The Crisis Unit is dedicated to helping individuals and families in their time of need to deal with crisis situations in a safe, supportive, and healthy manner.

Where are the children served and hospitalized?

Children 17 years and younger have their own private crisis unit that is away from the adult unit. This beautifully appointed therapeutic unit has a private dining room, common room, and outside lanai.

Why do people need the Crisis Stabilization Unit?

An individual is determined to need a Crisis Unit admission based on certain risk factors and the concerns raised by a community law enforcement officer or a licensed professional such as a doctor, licensed psychotherapist, or a licensed social worker. Individuals are then required to undergo a mental health/psychiatric evaluation either voluntarily or under an involuntary process. The reasons for the evaluation include concerns that the individual poses an imminent risk for self-harm, harm to others, or self-neglect related to a possible mental health condition or problem.

What is the Baker Act and how long is someone under the Baker Act?

The Baker Act is a Florida law that allows a person to be held involuntarily for up to 72 hours for psychiatric evaluation and stabilization.

When are clients released from the Crisis Unit?

A psychiatrist will evaluate the client within 24 hours of arrival at the David Lawrence Centers. The treatment team will determine a safe course of treatment for the client. Family and significant others’ involvement is encouraged along with the appropriate consents. It is our desire to work as a team in the best interest of the client and family.

Will client stay longer than 72 hours?

In some cases, yes. If the client needs to stay longer, the psychiatrist would “petition” for a Baker Act hearing that is held at the David Lawrence Centers, and the civil/court system would hear the testimony of all appropriate parties in order to make a determination if the client will be court-ordered /required to stay hospitalized for additional days of inpatient treatment and stabilization. Guardians, Proxies, and parents are invited and typically expected to attend the on-campus court proceedings and, in the case of an adult client, the client may choose witnesses as well.

Who works with the clients?

The Crisis Stabilization Unit treatment team consists of psychiatrists, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, resource coordinators, clinicians and behavioral healthcare technicians. We believe in the importance of a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, team-based approach.

Who is with the children?

There are trained behavioral health technicians that are on the children’s unit 24 hours-per-day. The children are supervised continuously to ensure their safety and provide therapeutic recreation and treatment support services.

What do the clients do throughout the day?

The staff holds special, informational, and educational groups several times each day and all clients are encouraged to attend. Clients may also participate in structured rehabilitation therapies. Therapeutic group activities may include community meetings, pet therapy, occupational therapies, wellness education, exercise, relaxation, health topics, stress management, and yoga. Schoolwork is encouraged for children if possible.

Can clients go outside?

Yes. Both the children and adult units have their own separate lanai and outside areas. There are many scheduled outside breaks for the clients throughout the day. Outdoor time is always supervised by behavioral healthcare technicians.

Can clients make phone calls?

For the safety of the client, minors may use the phone to call their parents or guardian, but the behavioral healthcare technician dials the appropriate number. Adult clients may make their own phone calls, but phone restrictions may be implemented if inappropriate calls are made.


What can I expect if I am referred to therapy?

Your first appointment will be primarily a time for your therapist to begin to understand what your concerns are, what your goals for therapy are, what treatment options are available, and for the therapist to make recommendations based on his or her evaluation of your situation and issues.

You and your therapist will set treatment goals together, reviewing these goals as you go along. Therapy goals may be successfully accomplished in just a few months, but in some cases, long-term treatment may be indicated. This will be discussed with your therapist in the first few sessions. You may ask your therapist at any time during the therapy about his or her approach, what the goals of treatment might be, how long therapy will last, and what to do in a crisis. Each session will last 45 minutes to one hour, and each therapist maintains his or her own schedule.

What is the average length of treatment?

Treatment for outpatient therapy is usually 4-6 sessions but may vary based on the individual and clinical need.

What should I bring to my first appointment with my therapist?

Any historical information that may be helpful and payment for services rendered.

What can I expect if I am referred to Medical Services?

Psychiatric Evaluation: Your first appointment allows the prescriber to evaluate your needs. The prescriber may discuss the possibility of taking psychotropic medications to help you feel better.

  • The Psychiatric Evaluation lasts approximately 60-75 minutes. A plan will be developed based on your individual needs and the prescriber’s recommendations.
  • Your prescriber will let you know when he or she would like to see you again to discuss how the medications are working for you.
  • You will schedule a follow-up Medication Management appointment at the end of each session at the checkout desk.

Medication Management: Medication Management appointments last approximately 30 minutes. The nurse or case manager will meet with you to check your vitals (weight, blood pressure, pulse) and review your treatment plan. You will meet with the psychiatrist briefly to discuss the medication and make adjustments as needed.

Will I have to take medication as part of the treatment?

Taking medication is voluntary, but it may be indicated for certain individuals. This will be part of the discussion with your prescriber.

Are prescriptions sent to my pharmacy or am I given a paper script?

Depending on the prescription, you may be given a paper script or the prescription may be sent electronically to your pharmacy. Check with the nurse at the time of your appointment.

I’m unsure if I want my child to take medications, does my child have to take the medication prescribed?

You may speak with your child’s prescriber to discuss your concerns.

What should I bring to my first appointment with a prescriber?

Any historical or medical information and payment for services rendered.

Need Help Now? Call us at (239) 455-8500

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