SARASOTA, FL – Florida Blue Foundation recently awarded the Jewish Family and Children Services (JFCS) of the Suncoast a $300,000 grant for their Community Well-Being Connection. This generous grant will be a multi-year grant over three years to support a fulltime licensed clinician (LCSW) and a part-time case manager that will bring essential counseling to assist youth and families in our Sarasota community. According to a recent analysis by the Sarasota County Mental Health Needs Assessment Task Force, Sarasota county’s behavioral health system “is in danger of becoming a crisis if steps to shore up and enhance the system are not taken.” In order to respond to the ongoing increase for mental health services, new private-sector partnerships have been developed to satisfy these ever-increasing demands.
As the school year begins in Sarasota County, anxiety and tension affect not only the children who may be concerned about their studies, socializing, and peer pressures, but also the entire family. Chief of Behavioral Services at JFCS, Keith Leahey shares, “the community integrated focus of this program has been very well received by our partner agencies and by the children, youth and their families. It is exciting to me to be serving in the broader community. JFCS is honored to have been selected by Florida Blue Foundation for this Community Well-Being Connection grant.” After a recent mental health training at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto counties, Kathy Bernal, the Community Wellbeing Clinician at JFCS recently received a heartfelt thank you note from those who attended, “your expertise is so valuable in educating our youth about stress and anxiety which is now such a common factor for many teens today.”
JFCS is one of the Florida Suncoast’s leading mental health and human services agencies, and delivers programs and services on a non-denominational basis with the goal of empowering individuals toward well-being and self-reliance.
Inspired by the Jewish tradition of helping all people, JFCS of the Suncoast believes all people are to be treated with dignity and respect and have equal opportunity for physical and mental well-being, self-expression, and joy.
About the Florida Blue Foundation
Florida Blue Foundation enables healthy communities by making grants, building coalitions and embracing solutions that create a meaningful impact in our communities. More than 8 million Floridians have received services as a result of our community investments since our founding in 2001. Florida Blue Foundation is committed to improve health equity by impacting food security, advancing mental well-being, growing healthy communities, and addressing health disparities.Florida Blue Foundation 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.
JFCS of the Suncoast is a registered 501C(3) organization EIN: 59-2693318. A copy of official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free (1-800-435-7352) within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State.