Mental Health

Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital
BrooksRehab.org

The head of the advocacy organization that represents Florida’s hospitals at the state and federal level says as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach near record lows across the state, the mental health of both residents and health care workers is becoming a major concern.

Courtesy: Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)

A program by Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida (PPSENFL) is offering virtual mental health counseling sessions for people struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grand Jury Says Florida's Mental Health System A 'Mess'

Dec 11, 2020
Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

A statewide grand jury studying school safety issued an interim report Thursday that tore into Florida’s mental-health system, saying that “deficiencies in funding, leadership and services related to mental health care tend to turn up everywhere like bad pennies.”

courtesy of EVERFI

Long before Brian Dawkins landed a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was playing for Duval County’s William M. Raines High School. Now he wants Jacksonville teens to know about a free online mental health course.

The “Brian Dawkins Values Program - Owning Your Cerebral Wellness” initiative is aimed at grades 8-10.

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

The benefits of human touch are well documented. But we find ourselves increasingly isolated.

Medicaid Mental Health Deal With State May Result In More Options For Some First Coast Residents

Sep 5, 2018
Alex Proimos / Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Patients with serious mental illness may have an increased choice of health-care providers under an agreement between the state and one of the largest Medicaid mental-health plans.

Bruce Lipsky / Florida Times-Union

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we learned about the plans for The Florida Times-Union newsroom to join a union with reporters Andrew Pantazi and Tessa Duvall (01:03).

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Next school year the Duval County School District could employ double the current number of therapists. That’s part of its plan to strengthen mental health services for students under the state’s school safety bill passed after February’s Parkland shooting.

Wiki Media Commons & WJCT News

There’s no widespread system of care for mental health patients in Florida.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we discussed Equal Pay Day with Paula Liang, Ellen Wiss and Melanie Patz from the Women’s Giving Alliance (01:12).  

Our latest segment of Moveable Feast featured Dea Sims from Your Pie (29:19).

This month’s First Coast Connect Bookclub with blogger Stacy Goldring featured the novel An Unnecessary Woman. (31:51).

We heard about this weekend’s Mosaic 2018 with organizers Jeanine Hoff from Where’s the Sunshine? and Carmen Joyce of I Still Matter (46:00).    

Wokandapix / Pixabay Creative Commons

Florida lawmakers are debating several measures aimed at preventing mass shootings, and some law enforcement officials are calling for another one: Making it easier to detain certain people suffering from mental illness.

But the leader of the state’s largest psychologist lobbying group cautions that unfairly puts too many people in the crosshairs.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri on the issues that affected Jacksonville and City Hall this year (00:52).

Terri Andrews, administrator for Baptist Behavioral Health, and registered nurse Carol Whitefield talked about a initiative to train over 10,000 residents in three years in mental health first aid (35:23).    

Local attorney John Phillips talked about how to avoid identity theft during the holidays (46:00). 

Thursday on Faith Matters on 89.9 WJCT host Kyle Reese, senior pastor of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church and One Jax Executive Director Nancy Broner and their guests discussed the role of faith in mental health treatment


Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Jacksonville mental health providers want to make sure there are enough clinicians, so they're donating nearly $1 million to the University of North Florida to train psychiatric nurse practitioners.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Health professionals from several Jacksonville hospitals are launching a project to train thousands of people to recognize the signs of mental illness, which can help reduce harmful stigma and get people connected to treatment faster.

But Florida’s lack of mental healthcare resources is still a hurdle.


Mental Health Resource Center

A Duval County mental health care program is set to begin treating patients in March, five months ahead of schedule.

The nonprofit in charge of creating the “central receiving system” is raising money to qualify for a $15 million state grant. But it’s not waiting to reach that goal before opening doors to patients.


Monday on “First Coast Connect,” guest host Ryan Benk spoke with Dr. Bob Sommers, CEO of the Mental Health Resource Center in Jacksonville.

He also spoke with local attorneys Barry Newman and Keith Maynard from the Spohrer & Dodd law firm about their work helping families of the victims of air crashes. This month’s installment of “First Coast Success” with Karen Brune Mathis featured InMotion President Jeremy Smith, and Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars’ firing head coach Gus Bradley on Sunday after another disappointing loss to the Texans. 


               

JCCI

Duval County mental health advocates are celebrating the state Legislature’s moderate progress this year toward reforming Florida’s mental-health system.


wired_gr / Flickr

Duval County high-school students are reporting higher-than-average rates of suicide attempts and feelings of hopelessness.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti addressed the report at Tuesday’s board meeting in a presentation. He said the district will be advocating for more mental health funding, and plans to expand services.


waiting room chairs
Christina Welsh via Flickr

Jacksonville is set to open what’s called a mental-health “central receiving system” next July. It’s a way to divert people with mental illness from jail, and it will give people in crisis a short-term treatment option.

But the project still needs $1.5 million dollars in local funding before it can become a reality.

Women's Giving Alliance logo
Women's Giving Alliance

Jacksonville's Women’s Giving Alliance recently awarded more than $400,000 to mental health providers.

With Election Day just two weeks away and early voting already underway in Northeast Florida, host Melissa Ross was joined by 5th Congressional District candidate Republican Glo Smith. We also heard from Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church pastor Kyle Reese and Baptist Behavioral Health administrator Dr. Ellen Williams about the upcoming Faith and Mental Health Conference. Ross spoke to Squirrel Nut Zippers band leader Jimbo Mathis on the band’s Tuesday night concert at the Ritz Theatre, and students from the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, along with director David Loudermilk, talked about their upcoming production of the Tony Award-winning musical “Parade.”  


          

Opioid Addiction

The problem of people abusing prescription pain medication, then often advancing to heroin use and overdosing, has become a serious public health crisis in this country. 

Christine Meyer, supervising program attorney for the Guardian ad Litem Program for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, joins us to discuss special training going on in the judicial system to help kids whose parents have a substance abuse problem.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Art therapy is an increasingly popular treatment option for those struggling with mental illness.

But for some patients, a perceived lack of artistic ability can keep them from exploring it.

One new Jacksonville nonprofit is hoping to change that.


NAACP President and Sheriff headshots
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

The public is invited to learn about mental health resources available in Northeast Florida on Monday evening. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville chapter of the NAACP are co-hosting a panel discussion at the downtown campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville at 6 p.m. in Room T140.


School Lunches

It’s a little-noticed move on Capitol Hill but one that could affect many thousands of kids and families in our area.

House lawmakers are quietly rolling back school lunch laws passed in 2010 which guarantee free lunches and after-school meals for children in high-poverty areas.

Ashton Elder

A new Florida law allows more military vets to qualify for a diversion program meant to keep offenders out of prison. 

One Jacksonville army veteran said this program saved his life.


Suicide Rates

A new report from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the U.S. suicide rate is the highest it's been in 30 years, increasing 24 percent from 1999 to 2014.

Suicide is now one of the 10 leading causes of death, the CDC says.

Rates are up significantly among middle-aged Americans. There’s also a spike in suicide among women and girls.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Obama outlined Tuesday executive actions on gun control that he says should help curb gun deaths in the U.S.  Among the changes, Obama is making it easier for states to share mental health records when someone is buying a gun.

“High-profile mass shootings tend to shine a light on those few mentally unstable people who inflict harm on others, but the truth is that nearly two-in-three gun deaths are from suicides, so a lot our work is to prevent people from hurting themselves," Obama said in a televised speech about the orders. 

State of Florida

Duval County mental health advocates are hoping a bill filed by a local lawmaker helps divert more people with mental illness from ending up in state hospitals or jail.

The measure would standardize mental health courts in Florida and create a pilot program expanding long-term care in Northeast Florida.


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