4/12/2017: Mental Health First Aid Initiative; FCSL Citizenship Day; Sulzbacher Village

Apr 12, 2017


  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Baptist Health CEO Hugh Greene about the Mental Health First Aid initiative. Florida Coastal School of Law professor Kara Roberts and student Lance Francis talked about Saturday’s Citizenship Day and Sulzbacher Center CEO Cindy Funkhouser and Board Chair Pam Chally told us about Thursday’s groundbreaking of Sulzbacher Village. 


Mental Health First Aid Initiative

It’s one of the biggest problems and least funded medical issues in northeast Florida: Helping people battle mental health problems. Florida is last in per capita funding for mental health in the U.S. But five local hospitals are getting together to help. The goal of the Mental Health First Aid initiative is to train 10,000 first responders and residents over a three-year period to recognize signs of mental illness. The idea is to treat those with a mental illness as a victim of a disease, and not a criminal. The training is an eight-hour course and is open to anyone.

FCSL Citizenship Day

The Trump administration this week defended its proposed temporary travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries, including Syria.

The administration has had to justify accusations that it is hypocritical to conduct an airstrike on behalf of Syrian children, while at the same time refusing to allow refugees from Syria into the country.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government was something all nations needed to be concerned about.

Trump is under increasing pressure to consider revising or retracting the ban, which would prohibit refugee resettlement for 120 days.

Meanwhile dozens of local immigrants are on the path to becoming U.S. citizens Saturday. Jacksonville has one of the largest “Citizenship Days” in the country. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on the FCSL campus.

Sulzbacher Village  

After years of planning and raising more than $20 million, the construction of the Sulzbacher Center begins Thursday. More than two-thirds of the people served at the center are women and children. Now, for the first time, local homeless women and families, including female veterans, will have a community of their own. The groundbreaking is 10 a.m. at the corner of 44th and Pearl.  

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.