David Lawrence Center provides mental health care for increasing number of children in crisis

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Our children are in crisis. The number of local kids held for 72 hours under the Baker Act—a last resort to protect someone from hurting themselves or others—to receive mental health treatment because of suicidal or violent thoughts jumped 26% in 1 year.

But there is reason for hope.

In a video produced by the David Lawrence Center, a Naples mental health treatment provider, Adrienne opens up about her daughter Chloe’s battle with depression and cutting.

“About 11 o’ clock at night, I got a call from Chloe’s best friend,” Adrienne said. “She said that Chloe had cut and she was unable to stop the bleeding. She had cut 30-something times on her leg and had gashing wounds.”

“I didn’t start cutting right away,” Chloe said. “It helped more as a release.”

Nancy Dauphinais is a licensed mental health counselor and leads operations at the David Lawrence Center where Chloe and her mom got help.

“Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death for individuals ages 10 to 24,” Dauphinais said. “DLC provides a comprehensive array of services. From inpatient, to outpatient to prevention-based to community services.”

The David Lawrence Center teaches one of the few effective treatments for suicide ideation.
It’s called dialectical behavior therapy.

“DBT is focused on four types of skills: emotional regulation, mindfulness training, distressed tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness,” Dauphinais said. “Teaching both the child and parent how to regulate feelings and effectively communicate.”

“The hardest part about—in hindsight—in dealing with my daughter’s depression, suicidal thoughts… self-harm, was not having the answers,” Adrienne said.

As the number of children in need of immediate help hits an all-time high, Chloe wants every child and parent out there to know help is available.

“Today, it’s a lot brighter, happier,” Chloe said. “And I have a new look on life.”

If you do know someone struggling, the National Suicide Prevention lifeline is (800) 273-8255.

The David Lawrence is one of 45 nonprofits that receives money from the Naples Children and Education Foundation. NCEF helped pay for DBT training for clinicians.

If you’d like to help organizations like DLC, tune into WINK News at 7 p.m. Saturday. We’re partnering with NCEF to host a 1-hour special. You can donate and learn how your dollars are saving children’s lives.


Warning signs to look out for in your child:

  • Isolation or refusal to attend school;
  • Changes in eating habits;
  • Withdrawal from peers or social activities;
  • Withdrawal from extracurricular activities at school or in the community; and/or
  • Reports of bullying, harassment, or intimidation in school, the community, or on social media.

SalusCare has a weekly zoom support group for parents. It’s free and you do not need to be a client. It’s Monday nights at 7. Zoom ID: 975 9545 3712 Password: 488302

SalusCare Emergency Services: 239-275-4242

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255​

Disaster Distress Helpline: www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline​

Parent/Caregiver Guide for Helping Families Cope with COVID-19: www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-sheet/outbreak_factsheet_1.pdf​​

Smart Social: Monitor your kids online https://smartsocial.com/parental-control-software/​

National Association of School Psychologist: School safety and crisis (PDF)

David Lawrence Center website for children

If you or a loved one are struggling, you can find support by visiting resources on the NAMI website.

For a comprehensive list of resources and organizations, you can visit This is My Brave. 

For additional tools, including a treatment locator, you can visit the CDC’s mental health web page. 


FGCU Community Counseling Center

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Collier County

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry counties

Lee Health – Behavioral Health

Lee Health Foundation’s – ‘Kids Minds Matter’

The National Alliance for Caregiving offers a free handbook
Circle of Care: A Guidebook for Mental Health Caregivers

Collier County Mental Health Court

Lee County Mental Health Court

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Local Support Groups: Anxiety and Depression Association of America

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Mental Health and Addiction Insurance Help)

Southwest Florida Resource Link

Stop Now And Plan (SNAP)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Talking to kids about suicide

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