FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Challenge will fund endowment for Young Adult Behavioral Health.
Jacksonville, Fla., January 4, 2021 – Baptist Health Foundation began its fundraising campaign for a challenge grant awarded by The Jim Moran Foundation to launch and sustain a care coordinator to serve young adults with mental illness and their families as they transition from childhood to adulthood.
To commemorate its 20th anniversary, The Jim Moran Foundation has generously offered to match, dollar for dollar, all gifts towards Alex’s Dragonfly Endowment for Young Adult Behavioral Health, up to $750,000, as part of more than $10 million in special grants that reach beyond its traditional funding priorities to support nonprofit partners in Broward, Duval and Palm Beach counties.
In 2019, Sheryl and Todd Johnson established Alex’s Dragonfly Endowment in memory of their son Alex. From their personal experience, the Johnsons wanted to ensure that other young adults with mental illness and their families had a resource at Baptist Health to guide their transition from pediatrics to adulthood.
“Watching a loved one suffer from mental illness is one of the most frustrating, angering, and helpless experiences. The fact that it is most often done in secret makes the struggle nearly impossible. We want young adults to be able to go to Baptist Health and be put in the hands of someone that will give them the knowledge to deal with this illness. If we can do that, we’ll have done what we set out to do,” Sheryl and Todd Johnson said.
2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results show that close to 1 in 5 Duval County high school students attempted suicide, a 63% increase since 2013. In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, with its societal changes and challenges, Baptist Behavioral Health has seen a significant increase in depression and anxiety in high school students and young adults (ages 20-24).
“We have seen a 300% increase in the amount of behavioral health emergency admissions, a 40% increase in calls to the office and a 20% increase in new outpatients,” said Terrie Andrews, PhD, director of outpatient behavioral health services at Baptist Behavioral Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adolescents account for the largest proportion of children’s mental health-related visits in 2019 and 2020. Between March and September 2020 the proportion of mental health-related visits for adolescents increased by 31% from 2019. The highest weekly proportion of mental health–related visits for adolescents occurred during April.
The potential impact of this grant and the stability the care coordinator position provides is significant. Baptist Behavioral Health projects that the care coordinator will develop and implement plans that will integrate physical and mental health for 225 young adults in 2021. Once the program is fully funded in 2022, the care coordinator will serve 300 young adults each year.
“Especially in these unprecedented and isolating times, it is so important for young adults and their families to have access to caring, safe and supportive mental health services,” said Jan Moran, president and chairman of The Jim Moran Foundation. “I know my husband would want his foundation to help Baptist Health offer this critical lifeline to the community through our challenge grant.”
To help Baptist Behavioral Health reach its campaign goal, visit https://giving.baptistjax.com/dragonflyendowment.
In response to the massive spike in admissions, Wolfson Children’s Hospital opened a 24/7 confidential helpline for kids and teens that is staffed around-the-clock by trained mental health experts. It provides emergency telephone support and assessment, crisis stabilization information and referral to follow-up care, if needed. The helpline is free of charge and available for parents, kids, and teens at (904) 202-7900.
About Baptist Health
Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet™ status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health is part of Coastal Community Health, a highly integrated regional hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. Baptist Health has the area’s only dedicated heart hospital; orthopedic institute; women’s services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and two primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians’ offices throughout Northeast Florida. The Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is a regional destination for multidisciplinary cancer care which is clinically integrated with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution in Houston. For more details, visit baptistjax.com.
About The Jim Moran Foundation
Founded by automotive pioneer Jim Moran, the mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation has invested more than $165 million in education, elder care, family strengthening, after school and youth transitional living initiatives since its inception in 2000 – with efforts currently focused in Broward, Palm Beach and Duval counties. Through a long-term grant agreement, The Foundation’s significant funders are JM Family Enterprises, Inc., and its subsidiaries, including Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC. It is located at 100 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442. To learn more, visit www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call (954) 429-2122.