Florida Partnership Launches Child Mental Health Support Toolkit

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Simply Healthcare, a Florida licensed health organization (HMO), released a resource on Monday to help children, families, health care providers, and others manage children’s mental health issues.

In partnership with the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP), Simply Healthcare launched SimplyHealthyMinds.com, a toolkit aimed at supporting children’s mental health and helping them cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic . In a statement, the group noted that the Simply Healthy Minds toolkit will be a key resource for children returning to school.

“Simply Healthcare is committed to supporting the overall health of Florida’s children – their physical, mental and emotional health,” said Holly Prince, President of Simply Healthcare Medicaid Plan. “SimplyHealthyMinds.com will serve as a trusted source of information about mental health and programs to help children and families manage mental health problems and find appropriate treatment. We are excited to partner with the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics on this important mission to improve the lives of the people we are so privileged to have. “

Simply Healthcare added that the online material is aimed at helping children break down barriers, improve understanding of mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and improve access to resources and care. According to the new website, users can find a variety of resources dedicated to child mental health support including:

  • Guidelines for parents to talk to teenagers;
  • Conversation starters for parents to talk to children;
  • Requests for diary entries to help children express their feelings in writing;
  • Access to local community utility programs by searching for zip codes; and
  • Suicide prevention hotline.

“There are real ramifications when children in need of support don’t have access to it,” said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, President, Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “So we wanted to make it easy to find the resources available and help Floridians cope with the challenges of children’s mental health problems.”

According to the Jed Foundation Report: Fluent Family Wellbeing Study, 60 percent of parents say children have experienced stress in the past year. Since the onset of COVID, Florida has seen a 30 percent increase in the Baker Acts – the act of taking a person to a mental health treatment center – in children ages 12 to 17.

In addition, the results of the Nation’s First State of Mental Health, a report released in May by Simply Healthcare’s parent company, showed that while more people, including children, reported increased levels of pandemic-related stress and anxiety over the past year, they did not Increase in diagnoses and treatments.

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