We Are Advocates for Children’s
Mental and Behavioral Health

Founded in 2016, Kids’ Minds Matter originated to raise awareness about the need for pediatric mental and behavioral health care services and to raise the funds required to make these services available through Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and Lee Health.

Today, Kids’ Minds Matter continues to create awareness, provide advocacy and inspire philanthropy. Also, our advocates are dedicated to fostering partnerships that support existing services, identifying and filling gaps in the continuum of care, and innovating new treatments.

Increasing Access to Care in Southwest Florida

As an initiative of Lee Health, Kids’ Minds Matter is dedicated to raising awareness and funds that will drive and support opportunities for increased access to pediatric mental and behavioral health care in a five-county region of Florida including Lee, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Charlotte counties.

Our Mission

As an initiative of Lee Health, Kids’ Minds Matter is dedicated to raising
awareness and funds that will drive and support opportunities for increased
access to pediatric mental and behavioral health care in a five-county region of
Florida including Lee, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Charlotte counties.

Our Vision

To ensure children receive the right care at the right place and right time, making
the full continuum of services available in our region.

Focusing on Three Critical Areas of Opportunity

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Kids' Minds Matter KMM arcs of circles from logo

Improving Access to Care

Early intervention is absolutely critical to ensuring better outcomes for children with mental health challenges. Building a multi-faceted system will improve access to care, so we can reduce Baker Acts by 35-40%. It will be important to…

  • Expand Golisano Children’s Hospital’s pediatric behavioral health clinics and add satellite clinics in South Lee, Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral
  • Expand the Mental Health Navigator program to more schools. A SAMSHA grant will be submitted in early 2021 which, if funded, will bring in approximately $4 million over four years, leveraging a 3:1 match of federal dollars to KMM funds
  • Expand the partnership with Healthcare Network to add additional care navigators in primary care practices
  • Add 2-4 additional psychologists/psychiatrists to decrease the waitlist for mental health services
  • Build on the case management program throughout Lee Health
  • Add additional team members to run the support groups and trainings provided to the community
  • Create an Adolescent IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) for high-risk youth
  • Develop an autism testing center to expedite diagnosis and early interventions
  • Continue Mental Health Mondays and providing tips and resources virtually
  • Establish telehealth kiosks in underserved communities
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Kids' Minds Matter KMM arcs of circles from logo

Building Capacity in the Region

Recruiting providers is often difficult as a result of a few applicants, competitive salaries, and cost of living in Southwest Florida. To address the issue, we’re pursuing multiple solutions…

  • Partner with Florida Gulf Coast University to offer scholarships to students pursuing a degree in marriage/family counseling and social work with the goal of retaining them post-graduation
  • Create a collaboration across all Golisano Children’s Hospitals (SWFL, Rochester, Syracuse) to assist with internships, residency programs and joint appointments
  • Establish an integration with FSU family medicine and internal medicine resident
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Kids' Minds Matter KMM arcs of circles from logo

Community Engagement and Partnership

Kids’ Minds Matter understands the importance of collaborating with local agencies and advocates to meet the growing needs of the community. That is why it’s important to continue…

  • Building on the success and reach of events like Normal is Overrated
  • Sponsoring regional events and programs
  • Developing and engaging in events, lectures, symposiums and continuing education
  • Advocating at the local, state and federal level through integrated lobbying efforts
  • Supporting efforts like Healthy Minds that align community partners