Simply Healthcare Partners with the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to Help Ready Students’ Minds and Bodies for Upcoming School Year
With Three in Five Florida Children Experiencing Distress Due to COVID – Florida Families Are in Need of Resources to Support Mental Health
Miami, FL (July 29, 2021)– Simply Healthcare and the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP), two powerhouses when it comes to child health and well-being in Florida, announced today a partnership to support mental health in children as families prepare to start a new school year.
“Good health is more than just a healthy body, it’s also a healthy mind,” said Holly Prince, President of Simply Healthcare Medicaid Plan. “We recognize that Florida’s kids have faced unprecedented challenges and changes over the last year, and we want to help them achieve and maintain good health. We’re proud to partner with the FCAAP, a household name when it comes to trusted resources and information about children in Florida. Through this partnership, we’re going to produce resources and information that help families, providers, schools and other organizations effectively care for Florida’s children, so they can learn and grow to be Florida’s future leaders.”
“Children who struggle with mental health concerns can struggle in school, in sports and in friendships. Worse, their challenges could lead to long-term disabilities or death,” said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, President, Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics. “It’s critically important for all of us to support children through challenging times. That’s why we’re proud to partner with Simply Healthcare toward our common mission of achieving and maintaining good health among Florida’s children.”
The need for resources and support for children struggling with mental health has never been greater. According to Jed Foundation Report: Fluent Family Wellbeing Study, 60% of parents report that children have experienced distress during the last year. Since COVID began, Florida experienced a 30% increase in Baker Acts – the action of committing an individual to a mental health treatment center – among ages 12 to 17.
In addition, the findings of the inaugural State of the Nation’s Mental Health, a report issued in May by Simply Healthcare’s parent company, showed that while more people, including children, reported increased pandemic-related stress and anxiety last year, there was not a corresponding increase in diagnoses and treatment. This indicates that children may not be getting the help they need.
Mental health problems can affect many areas of children’s lives, including their happiness, physical health and academic performance. Simply Healthcare, in partnership with the FCAAP, is responding to the need by developing and providing resources that can help children, families, schools and providers discuss and treat mental health issues.
As a first step, the two organizations are working together to pool and curate resources to support children, families, providers, schools and other organizations to support children’s mental health. The resources will be available via an online toolkit.
“For someone in search of answers and support, there are many resources out there. In developing this toolkit, it was our goal to create a library of resources and contacts that anyone in need could trust,” said Prince. “The backing of the FCAAP tells parents, providers and others that these resources have been carefully evaluated and are safe and effective.”
Resources through the toolkit will:
- Support children through challenges, COVID-related or other;
- Break down barriers to understanding mental health in children;
- Counter the stigma tied to talking about and treating children’s mental health challenges; and
- Improve access to resources and care.
The toolkit will be available soon, but it’s not the only resource in development. Florida families can expect to see more information and resources from Simply and FCAAP as a result of this partnership.
About Simply Healthcare
Simply Healthcare is a Managed Care Plan that offers plans in Florida for residents eligible for Medicaid, Medicare and Florida Healthy Kids benefits. To learn more, visit www.simplyhealthcareplans.com.
Through its more than 2,500 members, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics promotes the health & welfare of Florida’s children and supports pediatricians & pediatric specialists as the best qualified providers of their healthcare. Learn more by visiting www.fcaap.org.
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CONTACT: AMANDA BEVIS