Focus turns to building resiliency in youth through mentoring

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis, as chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, continued to lead the Cabinet to focus on prevention of youth suicide by establishing two workgroups: one to find and review current-situation data statistics, and the second to research the best and most-promising prevention efforts, particularly regarding mentorship. A Technology Workgroup and a Strategies Workgroup will begin their work immediately and report back at subsequent Cabinet meetings.

“This Cabinet has a unique opportunity to address an epidemic that has tragically taken hold in society – youth suicide,” said First Lady DeSantis. “This includes, but is not limited to, supporting strong mentorship programs to really change the scope and scale of how we reach and support struggling youth.”

“It’s a privilege to serve under the First Lady’s direction and alongside Florida’s leaders as we collaborate to develop a new, holistic approach to youth suicide prevention,” said Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell. “With the guidance of experts and insight from individuals who have experienced the effects of youth suicide firsthand, we will ensure that all young people have access to meaningful resources and support organizations to empower them to persevere and ultimately overcome their current circumstances.”

“Volunteer Florida is proud to support the initiatives of the First Lady and the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet through Volunteer Connect,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Clay Ingram. “Through Volunteer Connect, Floridians can volunteer their time to mentor our state’s children and youth, among a number of other causes.”

“The impact that a mentor can have on a child’s life is invaluable,” said Volunteer Florida Volunteer Services Director Jovita Woodrich. “We are proud to promote opportunities on our new platform, Volunteer Connect, that allow Floridians to become involved in helping shape our state’s children and youth.”

First Lady DeSantis, noting that there are record numbers of children in Northwest Florida still displaced from their homes for their second Christmas since Hurricane Michael, asked Cabinet members to donate toys to benefit the Big Bend area that were collected at the conclusion of today’s meeting.



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