Florida Blue Foundation invests $3.8 million in mental wellness for children, families and seniors

MIAMI, January 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic foundation for the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, today announced a $3.8 million investment to improve the mental health of children, families and seniors in Florida.

Twelve nonprofits across the state are sharing the investment that will support community programs that directly improve access to and quality of mental wellness services, especially for the underserved and uninsured, including racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations.

“There is no health without mental health. Our mental well-being is just as important as our physical health, but many Floridians suffering from loneliness, stress, anxiety or addiction do not receive help. they need because of the stigma of mental illness or lack of access to support,” said Pat Geraghty, President and CEO of Florida Blue. “We are investing $3.8 million in organizations embedded in communities in need and offering innovative solutions that can create lasting and meaningful impact in those communities.”

The announcement of the investment took place during a community conversation on children’s mental health moderated by Florida Blue in the Wynwood community of Miami. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 180,000 Florida children between the ages of 12 and 17 suffer from depression and 64.2% have not received any mental health care in the past year.

Three South Florida youth-serving organizations that will benefit from more $1 million in grants were on hand for the event to share the challenges they see in the South Florida Community and some of the unique solutions they are implementing to address it.

  • Guitars Over Guns: M-Power Program (Miami Dade) – Guitars Over Guns builds on its current work by providing students from vulnerable communities with a powerful combination of music education and mentorship from professional musicians to help them overcome challenges, find their voice and reach their potential as as leaders of tomorrow. M-Power integrates mentorship, arts education, performance, and trauma-informed care by integrating social-emotional and therapeutic support programs into current Guitar Over Guns student initiatives. Beneficiary of a $400,000 grant over 4 years.
  • Nova Southeastern University: STEPS (school toolkit for K-12 educators to prevent suicide) – Developed by a psychology professor at NSU, the STEPS program provides school administrators, teachers, school mental health professionals, and parents with tools to recognize suicidal student behavior and intervene effectively. Beneficiary of a $300,000 grant over 3 years.
  • House Kristi: HEADSTRONG project (Miami Dade) – Stimulated by the pandemic, racial injustice and calls for help from the community, House Kristi will expand his training and education beyond his current work on child abuse and sex trafficking through the HEADSTRONG project. The new program provides mental health support to more than 17,000 children and family members through community training, mental health support and an annual symposium for child and family service providers. caregivers. Beneficiary of a $350,000 grant over 4 years.

Other organizations across the state will also receive Florida Blue Foundation grants ranging from $250,000 at $400,000 to meet mental wellness needs in the communities they serve, including programs that:

  • Provide mental health counseling and education in schools for under/uninsured students;
  • Provide a safe environment for mental and emotional healing for members of the LGBTQ+ community, transgender people, victims of hate crimes and LGBTQ+ seniors;
  • Train spiritual leaders to provide tele-mental health and wellness support to black men and youth in low-income areas; and
  • Improve engagement with seniors who live alone and who have become even more isolated and lonely during COVID-19.

the $3.8 million The investment is part of an ongoing commitment by the Florida Blue Foundation to improve mental wellness statewide. Over the past five years, the Foundation has invested more than $12.7 million in non-profit organizations that address mental health needs Florida.

About the Florida Blue Foundation

The Florida Blue Foundation enables healthy communities by making grants, building coalitions, and embracing solutions that create meaningful impact in our communities. More than 6.5 million Floridians have received services through our community investments since our founding in 2001. Florida Blue Foundation programs focus on promoting mental wellness, improving health equity health, the impact on food security and the fight against systemic racism and the resulting health disparities. . It is a trade name of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, please visit www.FloridaBlueFoundation.com.

SOURCE Florida Blue Foundation

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