NewsLocal News

Actions

Hurricane Michael affected schools to get access to mental health care

Posted: 4:32 PM, Aug 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-20 16:32:58-04
kids mental health

(WTXL) — Children in Franklin, Jackson and Liberty counties will now have access to mental health and counseling services through an online platform.

Let’s Talk Interactive, Inc, has unveiled 63 Telehealth Kiosks and 63 Telehealth iPads Portals in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Franklin, Jackson, and Liberty counties.

The portals were deployed as part of efforts from First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hope for Healing initiative, the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF) and Big Bend Community Based Care (BBCBC).

“First Lady DeSantis, Big Bend Community Based Care and DCF are spearheading a cutting-edge initiative to tackle one of the nation’s leading crises - mental illness," said Arthur Cooksey, Founder, Let’s Talk Interactive, Inc. "Our goal is to provide unparalleled access to quality healthcare to in hard to reach communities – especially, in this instance, for school-aged children impacted by Hurricane Michael.”

Thanks to the portals, students in those Hurricane Michael affected counties will be able access counseling services and psychiatric care during the school day.

The customized Telehealth kiosks and software portals will enable more than 35,000 children to access much-needed care for those affected by life's stressors, particularly the trauma and devastation caused by Hurricane Michael in late 2018.

“We were pleased to be the catalyst behind this concept in order to help expend access to mental health services in this area," said Mike Watkins, the CEO of BBCBC. "These families have suffered enough tragedy and trauma for too long."

Officials say parents or legal guardians can also be part of the sessions from work or home. For more information about Let’s Talk Interactive and its work in Florida schools, visit http://www.letstalkinteractive.com .