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Caring for our community together during COVID-19

First Step of Sarasota, like the rest of the world, is very concerned by the threat that COVID-19 presents to those we serve. This pandemic has presented new challenges for all of us during this unprecedented time and we know that those in our community will need our help now more than ever.

The health and well-being of our clients, staff and the community we serve is our main priority. We have implemented a COVID-19 Command Team. This team meets daily and monitors all departments and locations to assure the safe management and continuation of services as we continue to follow guidance from the CDC and local Department of Health.

Our system-wide strategy includes using the COVID-19 symptom checklist, triaging every call we receive, checking in with existing clients, through telehealth or phone and our youth programs are now working with families and children through telehealth.

Clients in our residential programs are being screened every time they return to the program. The checklist is also being applied to delivery persons, vendors, law enforcement during drop-offs and all who are entering the premises. Visitors are prohibited at all inpatient and residential programs. We have closed our outpatient waiting rooms and implemented telehealth or telephonic contact with outpatient clients.

All our programs are operational.

In a matter of days, we increased our telehealth capability to 42 therapists/ counselors/ prescribers to assure the provision of ongoing services.

  • If you or your loved one is experiencing a mental health emergency, please contact our Crisis Center at 941.364.9355.
  • Those seeking inpatient detox from substance use should call 941.366.5333.
  • For Residential Pathways Program please call 855.822.4265 or visit http://www.pathwaysfl.org
  • Outpatient offices of First Step of Sarasota can be reached at 941.366.5333.
  • The Behavioral Health Access Center for assessment and referrals please call 941.552.1950.
  • For our Compass Residential Center for boys and girls ages 13-17 please call 941.639.5535.

The dedication of our staff is a ray of hope for our community, in these most trying times with changing challenges and demands, we continue to serve the most vulnerable who need our caring and compassion. That is why WE


First Step is fortunate to be a part of a generous philanthropic community. We know that many of you join us in caring for those in our community who are most in need. We are honored to steward funds toward the most vulnerable in our care. They need our help now more than ever. We have set up an “Emergency Relief Assistance Fund” that will be directly and immediately applied to client care.

Please click the button below to help NOW:


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