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No Letting Go

Information about a recent screening of the mental health film ‘NoLetting Go’ may be found here.

Cinema de la Mar

Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival White Party

Guests sipped and savored the experience at Cinema De La Mer, the first super-secret white party held at Royal Palm Pointe Park in Vero Beach. Following a Veuve Clicquot Champagne toast, the dates were announced for the summer—June 8 to 11. After sunset, all enjoyed an open-air screening of “The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship."

  • Liz McKinley, Kim Capen and Kristin Stanley
    Liz McKinley, Kim Capen and Kristin Stanley
  • Art Ciasa, Jerusha Stewart and Dave Cook
    Art Ciasa, Jerusha Stewart and Dave Cook
  • Diego and Katie Henriquez, Drew Sweeney, Kayla Gavel and Natalie and Joseph O'Neill
    Diego and Katie Henriquez, Drew Sweeney, Kayla Gavel and Natalie and Joseph O'Neill
  • Patrick Ayers and Brad Jefferson
    Patrick Ayers and Brad Jefferson
  • Ron and Diana Dichter with Roger Lynch
    Ron and Diana Dichter with Roger Lynch
  • Pam Monte and Karen Cole
    Pam Monte and Karen Cole
  • Mary and Art Ciasca with Karen and David Cook
    Mary and Art Ciasca with Karen and David Cook
  • Angela Morgan, Susan Horn and Bridget Rainey
    Angela Morgan, Susan Horn and Bridget Rainey
    Angela Morgan, Susan Horn and Bridget Rainey
  • Elizabeth Lara and Diana Lara
    Elizabeth Lara and Diana Lara

Many thanks to Stuart Magazine for sharing these great photos!

Make-A-Wish founder to speak at 2 Treasure Coast fundraisers

You can read all about it on the TCPALM.com story here.

World Suicide Prevention Day

Suncoast Mental Health was featured in this article in TCPalm about World Suicide Prevention Day.  Read about it by CLICKING HERE.

Charity of the Month

Suncoast Mental Health Center is the All Things Treasure Coast Charity of the month!

Read about it here: 

Quail Valley Charities gives out $511,000 to nonprofits, including Suncoast Mental Health Centers

Beautification Day - In The News

Mental Health Center beautification day set for Feb. 27

Read all about it in the TCPalm

Tanya Brown, sister of Nicole Brown-Simpson, to visit Treasure Coast and speak out about mental health

Tanya Brown, author of two books, mental health advocate, life coach and sister of Nicole Brown-Simpson will be visiting with community leaders on the Treasure Coast Thursday and Friday, January 21 and 22, speaking out about her mental illness.  Ms. Brown will be the guest in the homes of David and Karen Cook and Dr. James and Jennifer Strawn, where whe will share her story of her depression which nearly caused her to end her life by suicide.  Through counseling, therapy, the support of her family, and coping mechanisms, Tanya not only beat that depression, she went on to receive her Master’s Degree as a Mental Health Therapist and author 2 books which she hopes will assist others who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.   In “Finding Peace Amid the Chaos” she says, “They say the best revenge is success, and I’m ready to get revenge on depression!  I’m going to grab hold of what I have in my life, live it, and live it large!”

Tanya will be the guest of Suncoast Mental Health Center Board Members, David Cook (Okeechobee; 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.) and Jennifer Strawn (Fort Pierce; 6:30 – 10:30 p.m.) where she will share her story with guests in their homes, including community leaders, friends and advocates, provide her tips for dealing with depression, and encourage advocacy for mental health in general.  “We believe that having a person like Tanya come and share her story of hope for recovery is one of the best ways to get the message across.  Mental illness is real.  It impacts not only everyday folks, but those who seem to “have it all” it’s not something that you just shake off and deal with.  It’s effecting one in five of our kids, that’s enough for us to all sit up and take noticef” said Art Ciasca, CEO of Suncoast Mental Health Center.     

Suncoast Mental Health Center is a 501(c)(3) organization serving the behavioral and mental health needs of residents of Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties since 1998.  Suncoast is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).  For more information on Tanya Brown or Suncoast Mental Health Center, contact Art Ciasca at 772-489-4726 or Deb Pizzimenti, (772) 291-3210.  By email at aciasca@smhcinc.org  or dpizzimenti@smhcinc.org

Teen Organizes Toy Drive for Suncoast Children

We can’t thank our volunteers in Martin County enough for their support during our toy drive.  Thanks to Faiza and her friends at the Treasure Coast Rowing Club, our case managers were able to distribute toys to every childwho we serve who was also inneed this past holiday season.  We are grateful to everyone who helped us including LeGit Cuts Barbership, Club Pure the Friends of Monica Gonzales, staff and supporters. We are blessed to have your gifts for our kids.

Finding Peace Amid the Chaos


In November 2015, Suncoast Mental Health Center was honored to host Ms. Kathy Cronkite, actress, author and daughter of legendary news broadcaster Walter Cronkite at our Finding Peace Amid the Chaos event.  In this video, Ms. Cronkite describes her struggle with mental illness, the stigma  of shame surrounding her illness, and the importance of advocating for better access to mental health care.  For more information on Ms. Cronkite and her appearance here, please contact Director of Outreach, Deb Pizzimenti , (772) 291-3210.

Suncoast Mental Health, Inc. on WOKC

Two representatives from Suncoast Mental Health Center spoke at a recent Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee meeting.

Art Ciasca, the C.E.O and Deb Pizzimenti. The Director of Outreach visited the club to discuss the services Suncoast provides along with information regarding several mental health disorders. more . . .

TCPalm - Story on Vero Beach Wine & Film Festival

Jerusha Stewart is thrilled to present the inaugural Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival, June 9 to 12, 2016. It's Stewart's way of giving back to her newly adopted home – Vero Beach.

Stewart first visited Vero Beach three years ago and promptly fell in love with it. Originally from Wahiawa, Hawaii (on Oahu), Stewart says Vero reminds her of home. Read more ....

Suncoast Mental Health, Inc. on PSL TV

SUP Rally raises $3,700

A group of 50 paddlers entered the first Indian River SUP Rally, a paddleboard race that took place Saturday on the waters of the Indian River Lagoon, at River Palm Cottages in Jensen Beach.

Paddlers competed in elite (6 miles) or recreational (3 miles) races.

According to race organizer John Meskauskas, owner of Flying Fish Paddle Sports in Stuart, the race generated $3,700 for the Children’s Activity Fund at Suncoast Mental Health Center in Fort Pierce.

Read the story and see the photo gallery here.

Center welcomes new and current board of directors

BY: Deb Pizzimenti
POSTED:6:45AM, Aug 31, 2015
TAG: martin county (/topic/martin+county) Iluminaries (/topic/luminaries) I indian river county
(/topic/indian+river+county) I st lucie county (/topic/st+lucie+county)

Suncoast Mental Health Center recently welcomed new Board members, Dr. Michele Richard, Jennifer Strawn, and Brady Talley at its first meeting of 2015-2016, July 28.

Strawn stated that she joined the board of directors at Suncoast Mental Health Center because "after volunteering with Suncoast it was apparent that everyone in the organization, from the CEO down to the volunteers go above and beyond to do their best for their patients and families, in fact treating them as if they were their own family. The services don't stop with what you read under the "services offered" section (of their website, www.suncoastmentalhealth.org) and I knew that if I had a chance to help make a difference in saving and changing lives in the community I grew up in, it would be with Suncoast Mental Health Center."

Suncoast Mental Health Center, a local501(c)(3) with offices in al14 counties on the Treasure Coast, appreciates the time and talent of each of its board of directors, and others in the community helping to break negative stigmas related to mental illness, and in essence save and change lives.

Copyright 2015 Journal Media Group. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

TCCH celebrates National Health Center Week 2015

BY: Colette Heid
POSTED: 2:59 PM, Aug 12,  2015
TAG:indian river county ugc (/topic/ indian+ river+county+ugc)

Treasure Coast Community Health is marking National Health Center Week 2015 (NHCW) with a Community Health Fair on Aug. 12 as part of a weeklong campaign (August 9-15) to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America's Health Centers the largest and most successful system of primary health care.

The Community Health Fair hosted by Treasure Coast Community Health (TCCH) will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Vero Beach Community Center located at 2266 14th Ave., Vero Beach.

The event's Premier Sponsors are Molina Health Care and Wellcare Health Plans, (not sponsored  by the city ofVero Beach). In addition to free blood pressure checks and free blood glucose screenings, numerous community partners will be available to provide information on their services. The event is free.

Fun activities for all ages are planned, with guest speakers throughout the day and the Indian

River County Sheriffs  Department  will be providing free fingerprint  ID cards for the children.

"It's our goal to bring together many of our community partners to showcase their services to our patients," said Moses Santos, director of community outreach."This event not only provides information and education, but it also provides an opportunity to find out how to access quality, affordable health care."

Confirmed participants include: Advanced Motion Therapeutic, Area Agency on Aging

(Shine), Florida Eye Institute, Harvest Food & Outreach Center, Indian River County Sheriffs Office, Indian River County Health Department, American Cancer Society, New Vision Eye Center, Florida Rural Legal Services, Suncoast Mental Health Center, Douglas Health Services, Oculina Bank, DCF Access Florida, Solid Waste Disposal District, AAA, Center for Spiritual Care, Florida Baptist Retirement Center, Home Instead Senior Care, Children's
Home Society of Florida, David Chiropractic, Safe Space, VNA of the Treasure Coast, A Better Solution Insurance Services, Quit Doc, Quality Health Care, Wellcare Health Plans, Molina Health Care and the Social Security Administration.

TCCH is also offering a backpack giveaway to the first 100 school aged children. Child must be present to receive the backpack.

For more information, call'TCCH at 772-571-1989.

Copyright 2015 Journal Media Group. All rights reserved. This material  may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Runners to raise funds for mental health center

BY: Deb Pizzimenti
POSTED: 7:46 PM, Feb 13, 2015
TAG:st lucie county ugc (/topic/st+lucie+county+ugc)

FORT PIERCE- Local runners Davina Jones, Dorian Newbern, Jodie Certosimo and Deb Pizzimenti recently teamed up to run the full marathon of the Treasure Coast on March 1 starting and ending at Indian Riverside Park in Jensen  Beach.

The marathon, in its second year, has donated more than $20,000 to local charities. These active running ladies decided that, after running several marathons between them, to form a relay team to raise awareness and funds for area nonprofit, Suncoast Mental Health Center, a recognized nonprofit by the Marathon  of the Treasure Coast organizers..

"We've run more than 15 marathons between us as well as the Ragnar Relay race series. We thought it would be fun to combine the two formats in our own backyard for an excellent cause," Newbern said.

Local pool company Louden Pools generously agreed to purchase them Team Fun-Diva­ Mental Skirts running shirts and the girls were in stride!The Skirts would love it if you would sponsor  their "legs!" Every dollar raised will directly benefit children and their families on the Treasure Coast dealing with behavioral and mental health issues.

Suncoast Mental Health Center has offices in all four counties. Statewide mental health funding is creeping slowly upward due to awareness and calls to action by volunteers at Suncoast and elsewhere; however, there are still some 64,000 families in the community without health insurance. Suncoast offers affordable services to these families while promoting educational efforts to stay on the front end of mental illness. The funds raised by the Skirts will help Suncoast to meet the ever-growing community need. Visit their fundraising  page and donate by the leg or a one-time donation. https://fundraising.active.com/fundraiser/SuncoastFun-Diva-MentalSk For more information on Suncoast and the services that they provide, visit http:www.suncoastmentalhealth.org or call Art Ciasca, CEO at 772-489-4726. For information on the Marathon of the Treasure Coast, find them at http://treasurecoastmarathon.com/.

Copyright 2015 Journal Media Group. All rights reserved.This material  may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Buzz TV hosted by Marcia Littlejohn

Jennifer Strawn shares her challenge with viewers; it is both emotion and thought provoking, and extremely inspiring. We are fortunate to have Jen on our Board of Directors, as she is educating community members and creating awareness about mental health issues and Suncoast Mental Health Center. Jen story is one of hope and recovery.


Community Cornerstones

Suncoast Mental Health Center CEO Art Ciasca and Director of Outreach Deb Pizzimenti had the pleasure of sharing Suncoast's mission, volunteer opportunities and upcoming Finding Peace Amid the Chaos event details with Neda Heeter and her audience on Community Cornerstones today.  Watch the interview below and make sure to follow Neda on Facebook and tune in on Wednesdays and Thursdays, WAXE 107.3 and 1370 radio channels, Vero Beach.  Thanks Neda for a great time this morning!

Remember to follow Community Cornerstones with Neda Heeter on Facebook!

TC Palm - Suncoast Mental Health Center receives grant

Suncoast Mental Health Center receives grant

Suncoast Mental Health receives grant

Suncoast Mental Health Center was the recipient of a $15,000 grant from the John's Island Community Service League to provide behavioral and mental health services for children with no insurance.

Read more in TCPalm

The Vero Insider

Art Ciasca, CEO of Suncoast Mental Health, was featured on The Vero Insider radio program.  CLICK HERE to hear the interview.  Mr. Ciasca speaks about some of the upcoming events sponsored by Suncoast Mental Health.

Guest Column

On September 25, 2013, Art Ciasca, CEO of Suncoast Mental Health, was featured as a Guest Columnist for the Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.  Here is his guest column.

The shocking and distressing news from Tampa regarding 12 year old middle school student Rebecca Sedwick committing suicide from being bullied by as many as 15 teenagers is outrageous and causes tremendous concern.  The reality is that Rebecca had been terrorized.   The thought of any child feeling such intense feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and wanting to end their life is unimaginable.  But it is happening at alarming rates.  And we should be aware that Rebecca’s feelings causing her suicide did not occur overnight; it was a long, slow buildup of intense emotions causing her to end her life by throwing herself off of a tower.    

Rebecca is one of the faces of the worst case scenario of bullying, a child choosing to end his or her life.  We should be aware that thousands of children experience bullying every day, whether it is at school, in cyber space, or in their neighborhood.  Children are constantly bombarded with negative, disrespectful , and violent messages in television, movies, and music.  They may witness violence and abuse in their own home.   All these factors, among others, encourage bullies to bully.

Each day in the U.S, there are approximately 11.5 youth suicides. Every 2 hours and 5 minutes, a person under the age of 25 completes suicide.   Suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for young people (ages 15-19); only accidents and homicides occurred more frequently.   For every completed suicide by youth, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made. 

There are many children who are bullied and do not attempt suicide.  But we should be aware that children who are bullied can experience anxiety, depression, phobias, and/or post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).   A large, national survey of adolescent mental health reported that about 8 percent of teens ages 13-18 have an anxiety disorder, with symptoms commonly emerging around age 6. However, of these teens, only 18 percent received mental health care.  About 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18, according to the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Girls are more likely than boys to experience depression. The risk for depression increases as a child gets older. According to the World Health Organization, major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability among Americans age 15 to 44.

I urge concerned parents to explore any changes in their child. Children who are depressed may frequently complain of feeling sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent or caregiver, or worry excessively that a parent may die. Older children and teens may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative or grouchy, or feel misunderstood. Ask questions regarding how their child is doing and being treated.  Speak with teachers about what the teacher is observing in the classroom, hallways, lunch room.  Speak with your child.  Do not take lightly a child’s reporting of being bullied.  If it appears there is bullying going on, report it to the teacher, principal, guidance counselor.  Build a team to defeat bullying.  

A concerned parent may want to consider outside assistance for the child.  The Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS), in addition to other studies on treating childhood anxiety disorders, found that high-quality cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), given with or without medication, can effectively treat anxiety disorders in children. One small study even found that a behavioral therapy designed to treat social phobia in children was more effective than an antidepressant medication.  There are excellent clinicians in our area that work exclusively with children and can assist the child towards overcoming the adverse effects of bullying.

The bottom line: Be vigilant and ensure that bullying ends for your child.  Seek assistance for your child if he or she appears to be suffering adverse effects of bullying.  Your child’s childhood and future are at stake.

Suncoast In The News

Suncoast Mental Health Center celebrates 15 years of helping children.  Read about it in TCPalm by clicking here.

Bullying Stops Here

Read more about the "Bullying Stops Here" program on January 16, 2014.  Click the image for a full PDF of the flier.

Bullying Stops Here

Suncoast Mental Health featured in 32963 magazine

Read the article about Suncoast in 32963 magazine.  You can learn more about our Angels program by clicking here, too.

Suncoast Mental Health was featured in 32963 Magazine


Learn about career opportunities as Suncoast Mental Health, Inc.  CLICK HERE.

Telephone Numbers 

St. Lucie County - Main Office: 772.489.4726
Indian River County: 772.564.8616 

Martin County: 772.221.8585 
Okeechobee County: 863.824.0300 or - CONTACT US




Donate to Suncoast Mental Health Inc.