Mental Health & Intervention

Nurturing Healthy Families

The Jacksonville Children’s Commission sponsors a continuum of research-based programs to help ensure that children from birth to age 18 have stable, nurturing families. Our programs prepare children to enter kindergarten and succeed in school. They provide support and guidance after school and during the summer months as well as help children and their families get extra help when they need it.

Mental health issues can negatively affect the functionality and success of children throughout their lives. According to the U.S. Department of Education, suspension and expulsion rates for children with mental illness are three times higher than their peers. Approximately 50% of students ages 14 and older with mental health conditions drop out of high school – the highest dropout rate of any disability group. Studies show that early intervention efforts such as those supported by the Commission can improve school readiness, health status, and academic achievement and reduce the need for grade retention, special education services and welfare dependency.

Jacksonville System of Care

In 2010, the Commission received a $9 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) and contracts with the Partnership for Child Health, the implementing agency, to facilitate the transformation of Northeast Florida’s mental health services into a system of care that integrates home and community-based supports for youth with serious emotional disturbances that are family-driven, youth-guided and culturally responsive. In FY 2012-13, 26,114 volunteer hours were contributed to develop and implement the system of care.

For additional information about the System of Care, contact Vicki Waytowich at 904-630-7274 or vickiw@coj.net. Or, for information about the Jacksonville Youth Council, contact Regina Rinaldi at 904-630-3722 or  rrinaldi@coj.net.

Additional Information

  • Full Service Schools of Jacksonville
  • Child Guidance Center
  • Northwest Behavior Health Services