Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis Attended Event at Nease
to Announce Launch of New Mental Health Initiative.
By: Maria Ribot (Editor-in-Chief) and Nicole Scarbrough (Publisher)
THE PLAYERS Championship presented $1,000,000 to the Flagler Health Care Foundation on Monday at Allen D. Nease High School to help fund the start-up of their new initiative, B.R.A.V.E, which stands for stands for “Be Resilient and Voicing Emotions.” The $1M gift is the first funded initiative from the $9.25 million raised for Northeast Florida Charities at the 2019 tournament. The announcement event was attended by Casey DeSantis, the First Lady of Florida; Tim Forson, Superintendent of St. Johns County Schools; Anna Hampton, Nease senior and NJROTC student; Jason Barrett, Flagler Health+ CEO and president; and representatives from the Players Championship Red Coats, the tournament’s volunteer leadership.
As an advocate for mental health care, Anna Hampton opened the conference by expressing gratitude to THE PLAYERS Championship committee and for their generous donation for the new program that will help connect students with care. She mentioned how this generation is put under “academic, social, and cultural” challenges, which “synthesize into the complex issues of mental health that we are dealing with today.” Hampton added that social media contributed to the high stress levels of teens since they are put under so much pressure to strive for perfection in all aspects of their lives. Hampton also touched on the support systems that are already available for students that are struggling through the demands of high school and their future as adults. At Nease, the message “You are not alone!” is printed on the back of every single student ID and the Counselor’s Corner is a new program during lunch that helps students connect with counselors easily.
After Anna Hampton’s introduction, First Lady Casey DeSantis spoke about the importance of being aware of mental health concerns in children and teenagers. She emphasized that mental health needs to be made a priority in Florida. Not only is she determined to help students in St. Johns County with treating their mental health problems, but she wants to make it a standard to encourage teenagers to seek help in order to lead happy, healthy, and functional lives.