Deanna Seymour’s, APRN, DNP, PMHNP-BC, (DNP 2016) 29-year nursing career has taken her to various inpatient and outpatient settings, but her love for children has remained constant. In 2010, Seymour decided to return to school to pursue an advanced degree. After much soul searching and collaboration with colleagues, she decided to pursue a DNP degree at UF, specializing in the PMHNP track.
Following graduation, Seymour worked as an inpatient pediatric psychiatric nurse practitioner at Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital, where she spearheaded the first Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, crisis intervention group and worked on the consultation service. After learning that UF Health had a DBT program, she moved to UF Health Jacksonville, where she focused on providing medication management and both individual and group DBT therapy for three years. She specialized in treating children and adolescents with anxiety, chronic depression, suicidality, self-harm, trauma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
On June 22, Seymour opened her own autonomous practice in St. Augustine called Seymour Behavioral Health Solutions. She considers her practice a “one-stop shop” for children and adolescents needing individual and group DBT therapies and medication management. She was granted permission to take her UF Health Jacksonville patient caseload with her and has started her private practice with a completely full schedule.
She said COVID-19 has exacerbated mental illness, especially for children.
“They feel isolated, depressed, many temporarily lost their support system of school and community,” she said. “I am very busy and will be for a while dealing with the aftermath.”
A mother of four sons herself, helping children and families is Seymour’s passion and she is excited for the freedom of having her own independent practice.
“It’s important to be able to pursue one’s interests and passions,” Seymour said. “There are so many things that can be done within the nursing profession. In my case, I chose to pursue DBT and provide robust therapy services to an underserved population. As nurses, we are barrier busters. Being a doctorally prepared nurse is so important. It teaches leadership. Once you think of yourself as a leader, it’s hard to settle for less.”