BayCare Kids Launches Movement to Support Children’s Mental Health in West Central Florida
To address the growing children’s mental health crisis by promoting wellness and early intervention, BayCare Kids is bringing The On Our Sleeves Movement For Children’s Mental Health to West Central Florida.
On Our Sleeves is based upon a simple concept: children don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves, and it can be hard to tell when they are struggling with their mental health. On Our Sleeves provides free, easy-to-use educational tools and resources to help parents and caregivers start conversations, boost mental well-being and break stigmas associated with children’s mental health. Each of the icons featured in On Our Sleeves’ materials represents a thought or feeling that can spark a conversation.
“Families today need all the support they can get from a variety of places,” said Dr. Christina Canody, medical director of BayCare’s Pediatric Service Line. “We’re providing tools and resources to help adults better understand and address their child’s mental health before it becomes an emergency.”
Research shows one in five children is living with a significant mental illness, and half of all lifetime mental health concerns start by age 14. To address the need for accessible resources, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, launched On Our Sleeves on Oct. 10, 2018. Since then, On Our Sleeves has steadily grown the number of parents, caregivers and educators it’s able to reach with its free health content now available in all 50 states – expanding from 1 million users in 2019 to more than 11 million users today. Nearly 500 resources have been created to build literacy and prevention habits on topics including: anxiety, bullying, body image, safe social media use, minority mental health and suicide prevention.
“BayCare is a proud partner in this effort to break stigmas and start conversations,” said Lisa Bell, director of community benefit for BayCare. “As the largest provider of behavioral health services in the Tampa Bay and West Central Florida regions, we want to support everyone who is committed to caring for our youth.”
There are several ways to get involved. Visit BayCareKidsOnOurSleeves.org to:
- Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, featuring actionable, timely mental health information
- Download tips and tools to help facilitate conversations with kids and teens
- Learn how to recognize and respond to children in or at risk of crisis
“As a pediatrician, I hear directly from parents who are concerned about their children’s well-being,” Dr. Canody said. “Our goal is to ensure every family has access to these valuable resources. From conversation starter ideas to mental health resources at BayCare and in the community, BayCare Kids On Our Sleeves has something to offer anyone closely involved in advocating for the next generation.”