Jake’s Story
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
3w ago
***TRIGGER WARNING*** This story discusses suicide and suicidal ideation. Although she is grieving, Denise is using her voice to share Jake’s story – a story fueled by love, loss, and a steadfast determination to shine a light on the gaps in mental health care and the challenges many in our community face while searching for quality care. Though Jake’s story is marked by tragedy, it is also a testament to the importance of receiving the right care at the right place and right time. Jake was Denise’s oldest son, who was a happy and vibrant child. His struggle with anxiety began in high school w ..read more
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Developmental Disabilities Awareness
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
3w ago
Parenting Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges: Developmental Disabilities Awareness Disability awareness brings to light some surprising statistics. Did you know that people with developmental disabilities are more likely to develop a mental health disorder than their peers? Being a parent is already a difficult job. Parenting children who have special needs and health challenges, though, can be incredibly stressful. Kids’ Minds Matter offers many parent and training classes, including a course “Parenting Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges.” The class helps parents ..read more
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Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
1M ago
Parenting Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges: Developmental Disabilities Awareness Developmental Disabilities Awareness brings to light some surprising statistics. Did you know that people with developmental disabilities are more likely to develop a mental health disorder than their peers? Being a parent is already a difficult job. Parenting children who have special needs and health challenges, though, can be incredibly stressful. Kids’ Minds Matter offers many parent and training classes, including a course “Parenting Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges.” The cla ..read more
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A Mental Health Navigator Gives Brody and his Grandmother Hope
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
1M ago
Since her now 12-year-old grandson Brody was about 3 years old, Sheila DeMichele has navigated his mental health challenges. What’s more, both of his parents died before Brody was 6 years old. As a result, Sheila, who turns 79 at the end of 2024, has been his lone champion. Born prematurely, Brody needed support from birth for the impacts of fetal alcohol syndrome. As he grew, more issues became apparent, including ADHD, ODD and eventually autism. Brody has had support throughout his life to catch up developmentally, socially and physically. But as early as day care, he has had issues with agg ..read more
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Legislative Update: Live Healthy
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
1M ago
As mental health advocates, Kids’ Minds Matter recognizes the power of our state and national governments to help improve pediatric behavioral health. By outlining pediatric behavioral health legislative priorities for Southwest Florida, we have come together to advocate all levels of government through phone calls, emails, and letters to our elected officials. This advocacy is hard work and does take time, but change does happen. A prime example is the recently signed Live Healthy legislative package, a significant step forward in our mission. On March 21, 2024, Governor Ron DeSantis signed ..read more
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Creating Brighter Tomorrows: Ana Valencia is a Passionate Child Advocate
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
1M ago
Ana Valencia is an incredibly compassionate Child Advocate at Golisano Children’s Hospital. With a heart as big as her smile, Ana is a champion for pediatric patients, ensuring they receive the support and care they need to thrive. She also helps guide families through the rollercoaster of emotions that come with a hospital stay. During her high school years, Ana developed a deep-seated passion for helping others and making a difference in their lives. She often spent her free time volunteering at the hospital’s customer service department and working as a patient sitter, providing comfort an ..read more
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Child Advocacy: The Impact So Far in 2024
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
2M ago
With your continuous support and advocacy, we have begun a new chapter at Kids’ Minds Matter to address the growing need for mental and behavioral health care in Southwest Florida. Our community outreach initiatives have yielded positive results over the recent months, connecting families with resources and education and fostering valuable conversations about mental health. Here are some examples of the impact we have made so far, this year: 3 Parenting the Exceptional Child classes with 27 participants 4 Mental Health First Aid classes with 47 participants 10 presentations promoting Mental ..read more
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A Champion for Children & Families: Valerie Telemaque’s Role as a Mental Health Navigator
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
2M ago
Valerie Telemaque is a dedicated Mental Health Navigator at Golisano Children’s Hospital. She focuses on assisting families with obtaining the necessary resources to help overcome life’s inevitable challenges, particularly those related to mental health. An experienced expert, Valerie is an invaluable, compassionate advocate for struggling families in our community. A proud graduate of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Valerie earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Passionate about helping families that have experienced abuse and had children suffering from serious mental ..read more
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Self-Harm in Teens
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
3M ago
Self-injury often starts in the preteen or early teen years. About 17% of teenagers engage in harm themselves at least once, according to the American Psychological Association. Child and Adolescent Mental Health reports family problems, school or job challenges and struggling relationships with friends as contributing factors to those who have injured themselves. What is Self-Harm? Self-harm is the act of deliberately inflicting pain to yourself through methods such as cutting, scratching, hitting, burning, biting, etc. Self-injury is a harmful coping mechanism for those facing emotional ..read more
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Patient Awareness: Cultural Disparities in Health Care
Kids' Minds Matter
by Webmaster
3M ago
By Jean Claude Sime, Mental Health Navigator Cultural disparities in health care can be a barrier to quality care. Providing quality healthcare to everyone is more than just having access to doctors and services. Health care is most effective when it delivers services that meet the social, cultural and linguistic needs of patients. Awareness of a patient’s culture helps promote trust and better health care and can lead to a higher acceptance of diagnoses and improve treatment adherence. Why is Health Care Accessibility Important? Mental wellness is universal. Behavioral and mental health ..read more
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