History

60s

“It started out as a group of citizens motivated by a concern for the lack of mental health services in Collier County. We formed a Board and developed a plan we could present to the public for financial support.”

–Louis S. Moore, M.D., Chairman
Founding Board of Directors

  • Collier County Mental Health Clinic established as a not-for-profit in 1968
  • Secured a federal grant to subsidize substance abuse treatment
  • Clinic opened its doors on October 10, 1969 with three staff members in a donated store front
1960s
70s
1970s
  • Clinic expanded to 35 staff members and operated out of scattered locations throughout the County
  • Added a 12-bed adult substance abuse treatment facility operated out of donated trailers in Immokalee
  • Doug and Mercy Bathey generously loaned and later donated $200,000 to acquire a 10 acre parcel of land to construct a new campus on Golden Gate Parkway
  • The Foundation for Mental Health, Inc., now known as the David Lawrence Foundation, was formed

“When we launched the Foundation,my vision was to formalize the partnership between the State, Collier County government and private sector. I knew if I could rally the right people, the services would develop to meet the demand.”

– Polly Keller, Founder
David Lawrence Center and Foundation

1970s
80s
1980s
  • The Clinic changed its name to the David Lawrence Center for Mental Health, Inc. in honor of Doug and Mercy Bathey’s son, David Lawrence Bathey
  • The Foundation changed its name to the David Lawrence Foundation for Mental Health, Inc.
  • The new campus opened and included new programs: Banyon Pavilion a12-bed children’s residential substance abuse treatment program, Adult crisis stabilization unit and Crossroads 16-bed adult residential substance abuse treatment program
  • The Foundation also launched its first Endowment Campaign
  • Child’s Path Preschool was opened to provide affordable daycare services to DLC employees
  • Horseshoe Drive and Immokalee satellite locations were opened
  • The Foundation opened the Encore Resale Shop, a consignment and donation based used furniture and accessories store on Fifth Avenue South and later expanded to a large second location on Davis Boulevard

“We consider DLC a member of our family. It makes our David’s loss less burdensome knowing that thousands of people have been treated and helped there. Our experience has been very rewarding and a great source of hope, pride and fulfillment.”

– Dick & Judie Bathey, Donors
Brother to David Lawrence Bathey

1980s
90s
1990s
  • The Center was seeing double the number of clients served in the 80’s
  • Expanded community-based prevention and intervention programs
  • The Employee Assistance Program was added at a donated satellite location off of Tamiami Trail
  • The children’s substance abuse residential treatment program was reformatted to Bridges children’s intensive residential mental health care
  • Bridges was expanded to a 20-bed unit
  • DLC acquired three housing projects creating 24 affordable housing units

“As a volunteer member of the David Lawrence Center board it has been extremely educational to see the scope of the problems in Collier County and also to see the innovative solutions that are being provided by the David Lawrence Center.”

– R. Scott Cameron, President, David Lawrence Center
Board of Directors

00s
2000
  • The Foundation launched the Restoring and Rebuilding Lives Endowment Campaign
  • Emergency Services was expanded
  • A new 12-bed adult inpatient Detoxification Unit was added to main campus
  • A new 6-bed children’s crisis stabilization unit was added to main campus
  • Due to the need for space on the main campus, the Children’s Community Services and Adult Community Services departments were moved off campus to rented space
  • New diversion programs were added: Mental Health Court,Competency Restoration Program, Juvenile Drug Court, crisis intervention training for law enforcement, and Juvenile Assessment Services

“David Lawrence Center offers invaluable services and has been unwavering in its commitment to protect the rights and safety of those with mental illnesses. I ardently supported that the Florida Legislature provide funding for the Emergency Services Expansion, because it is a lifesaving resource for families in our community.”

– Senator Burt Saunders
Advocate

juvenile
kids

10s
  • DLC now touches the lives of 50,000 people a year – more than five times what it was in the 1990’s
  • David Lawrence Center Young Executives was launched
  • The Adult Crisis Unit was expanded to a 36-bed unit
  • The Detox Unit was expanded to 15 beds
  • The Crossroads residential program was expanded to 18 beds
  • A new centralized, walk-in assessment model was launched in a renovated Admission Services office
  • Telepsychiatry and telehealth were launched
  • Collier County Public Schools Education Day Treatment Program was added
  • Children’s Community Action Team was added through a funding from the Department of Children and Families
  • Integrated care for children was added through the Naples Children & Education Foundation, founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, Beautiful Minds Initiative
  • Holistic programs such music, art, equine, pet and wellness services were integrated into traditional treatment programs
present
campus
community help
DLC outside

Today, the David Lawrence Center Board of Directors and staff have developed a new five-year strategic plan that provides a framework of priorities, initiatives and objectives established to broadly address community needs through 2020. This plan is designed to exceed the highest quality of care expectations that will help our clients see hope, visualize their potential and transform their lives. The strategic priorities focus on five areas: C-HOPE (C-children, H-holism, O-ongoing innovation, P-partnerships that engage and empower, E- enhanced access to care). Learn more about our future plans here.