Outpatient behavioral health services in Fort Walton Beach

At Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, we offer outpatient behavioral health services to patients 18 years old and older. Our outpatient programs provide mental health treatment for adults in need of structured support but not an inpatient hospital stay.

We deliver comprehensive treatment that is individualized to the primary symptoms and concerns of each patient. Our programs are dedicated to helping patients develop healthy coping strategies and build a supportive recovery network.

To determine if one of our outpatient programs is right for you, call us for a free, confidential screening at (850) 315-8009.

It is our belief that recovery and life coexist. This is why our programs allow patients to continue work, school and daily life activities while receiving treatment.

This gives patients the opportunity to practice their new skills in day-to-day situations while maintaining continued support and treatment.

Behavioral health telehealth services

With the coronavirus health situation, our team is committed to serving the community in person or online. Our inpatient and outpatient programs remain open, however, if you're interested in digital care we are here for you. Learn more about our telehealth services and how we serve our patients during the current climate.

Outpatient psychiatry programs

Our outpatient behavioral health services include two dedicated programs—partial hospitalization program and the intensive outpatient program.

Patients who participate in our outpatient psychiatry programs receive personalized treatment to help them transition to a lifestyle with less frequent outpatient counseling. Our counselors and staff help patients ease back into daily responsibilities and demands, helping them navigate family life and work.

Outpatient programs are geared toward patients who will benefit from comprehensive treatment from a multidisciplinary team. Our goal is to maintain every patient's sense of well-being and assist them in further stabilizing their mental health.

Intensive outpatient program (IOP)

The IOP is appropriate for patients who:

  • Are likely to benefit from a coordinated program
  • Are not deemed to be acutely dangerous to themselves or others
  • Have an adequate support system outside of a hospital setting
  • Need a structured environment but not 24-hour supervision
  • Require more than unscheduled sessions of a lower level of mental health care

Partial hospitalization program (PHP)

The PHP is appropriate for patients who:

  • Are not deemed to be acutely dangerous to themselves or others
  • Have an adequate support system outside of a hospital setting
  • May have previously been in an inpatient or residential program and require a "step down" to the next level of care
  • Need a structured environment but not 24-hour supervision
  • Require outpatient psychiatric treatment during times of the day identified as "most troublesome" for patients
To see if our IOP or PHP is right for you, call us for a free, confidential screening at (850) 315-8009.

Goals of outpatient mental health care

Our IOP and PHP help patients learn a wide range of skill sets. When participating in one of these programs, patients may:

  • Attend individual and group sessions that use evidence-based approaches, such as:
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
    • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
    • Motivational interviewing
    • Solution-focused therapy and positive psychology
    • Trauma-informed care and/or accelerated resolution therapy (ART)
  • Establish an environment where patients help, support and confront one another, when necessary
  • Improve interpersonal functioning
  • Improve self-assessment skills to anticipate problems and learn healthy alternatives
  • Introduce structure and discipline into the lives of patients
  • Learn about mental illness and the best treatment options
  • Learn practical skills to manage problematic behaviors and painful feelings that may inhibit progress

Participating in IOP and PHP

Our outpatient mental health programs are appropriate for patients with mental illnesses who require a structured program of therapy. This includes therapy for multiple hours a day, several times per week.

IOP and PHP are not appropriate for patients with severe mental illnesses that cannot be maintained while living at home and actively participating in the community. A higher level of care, such as inpatient mental health care, is typically required for these patients.

Our outpatient mental health care team

Whether you participate in our IOP or PHP, you will receive care from the multidisciplinary team at our behavioral health center, including:

  • Board-certified psychiatrists
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Master's level interns
  • Mental health counselors
  • Registered nurses

Our services help patients grow through comprehensive support and guidance. This may include working collaboratively with other treatment providers in the community.

Admission to our outpatient psychiatry programs

If you are a physician with a patient referral, please fax the following documents, if available, to (850) 315-7836.

  • Applicable progress notes
  • Copy of insurance cards
  • Current history and physical or psychiatric evaluation
  • List of current medications
  • Signed release of information

Admission criteria

To participate in our IOP or PHP, patients must:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Exhibit psychiatric symptoms that significantly impair social, occupational and other important areas of function
  • Otherwise require admission to an inpatient hospital or receive continued treatment at a higher level of care

Treatment is expected to improve and/or maintain the patient's mental health condition and everyday functionality. The goal is to prevent the need for a higher level of care.

Exclusion criteria

Patients are not eligible to participate in our IOP or PHP if they:

  • Are judged to be acutely dangerous to themselves or others
  • Experience substance abuse problems that would interfere with their ability to benefit from treatment (or interfere with other patients' treatments)
  • Refuse to or cannot participate in an active treatment process due to their behavioral, cognitive or emotional status
  • Require primarily social, custodial, recreational or respite care with no evidence that active treatment would modify their clinical course