SalusCare, along with Lee County’s only accident settlement, is still covered by insurance.

On the other side of the storm, there are signs that life is beginning to return to normal as many businesses have reopened. But one important business that serves the population remains closed in Lee County.

Inside Lee County’s only mental health, disaster crisis seems no different than it did a week or so after Jan’s storm on Sept. 28: Walls are still crumbling, the rooms are still available.

Reconstruction was halted due to a conflict between wind and flood insurance at the SalusCare Colonial campus.


To date, neither the original insurance company nor the flood control operator has made a payment, leaving the campus closed. This can put more than a thousand people who are dealing with a mental health problem at risk.

“The last 100 days have been very difficult. We have worked diligently and diligently to resolve this issue and open the doors,” said Stacey Cook, president and CEO of SalusCare.

Damage from the storm is estimated at over one million dollars. The number of people caught in this war between insurers is growing every day.

Before Ian, about 4,000 adults and children in need of psychiatric emergencies were admitted each year. Now they are sent to the entire region – if there is an opportunity. Some are taking taxis and traveling across the state, disrupting families, Cook said.

The storm, which followed an epidemic, has only increased the need for local emergency services, Cook said.

“Mental health is health,” he said. “This is a very important, potentially life-saving service that is not being done right now and is a huge missing link and people are dying because of it.”

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