BRAVE revolutionizes mental health care for teachers, staff, parents, and caregivers at Florida public schools

UF Health St. Johns program provides clinically moderated digital peer support for Florida public school educators, parents, and others

Teachers, staff, parents, and caregivers at public schools throughout Florida can now access a clinically moderated mental health support resource via a new collaboration between Togetherall and UF Health St. Johns Care Connect program.

Care Connect launched the program with Togetherall, a safe and anonymous online space in which Florida public school educators, parents and others can benefit from a peer-to-peer community 24/7, connecting through shared lived experiences. Care Connect offers Togetherall’s platform through BRAVE, which stands for Be Resilient and Voice Emotions.

“We are excited to begin working with Togetherall and provide this invaluable resource,” said Paige Stanton, executive director of UF Health St. Johns Care Connect, which administers BRAVE. “Togetherall is a wonderful tool for teachers, school staff, parents and caregivers to help combat daily stressors. Ensuring the adults surrounding children and teens have safe and accessible mental health support is critical to ensure the well-being of children and teens.”  

BRAVE aims to break down the stigma associated with seeking assistance for mental health, eliminate barriers to receiving support and ensure that families have access to the services they need to thrive.

BRAVE’s impact on the community:

  • 5,000+ youth served
  • 10,000+ behavioral health appointments attended
  • 530% increase in youth mental health appointments
  • 94% satisfaction rating on mental health services provided through BRAVE

Togetherall, in alignment with BRAVE’s mission, is a great fit as an additional offering, officials say. Digital peer support, overseen by live, licensed clinicians around-the-clock, is a unique kind of mental health support. The anonymity of every user immediately lowers barriers to help-seeking, and the forum of an online community can complement or even replace in-person counseling.

Moreover, folks can connect with their peers in ways that they wouldn’t feel comfortable or plainly couldn’t do with a counselor. Parents of children in the Florida public school system now have an outlet where they can connect with other parents of schoolchildren without the fear of being recognized or judged. Likewise, educators can connect with other teachers who understand the unique stresses of their work.

“It is very important to us that the peer support received by the users actually be clinically moderated for safety and to ensure that the support given is positive and helpful,” said Kayla Herr, MPH, community health improvement manager of operations at UF Health St. Johns Care Connect.

Togetherall’s clinical rigor separates us from other comparable services. With an extensive clinical team, there is always 24/7/365 coverage of our community. Any high-risk language or conversations are detected, reviewed, assessed- and, if appropriate, stepped up through appropriate channels to ensure our members’ safety.

About UF Health St. Johns

UF Health St. Johns, a regional division of UF Health, is dedicated to building healthier communities throughout Northeast Florida. We offer preventive, diagnostic and interventional care, including working with area schools to address youth behavioral health and the latest health and wellness options where our community members live, work and play.

The region includes UF Health Flagler Hospital, with a 130-year legacy of caring for the community, and multispecialty practices at UF Health Nocatee and UF Health MuraBella as well as primary care and specialty practices in neighborhoods throughout St. Johns County and beyond.

UF Health Flagler Hospital has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for primary stroke care centers, national accreditation for its total hip and total knee replacement programs, accreditation from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer and Center of Excellence designation for its bariatric surgery program.

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About Togetherall

Established in 2007, Togetherall is available to more than 20 million individuals worldwide. Togetherall is the leading clinically managed, peer-to-peer, online support community where members can share what’s on their minds, anonymously, safely, and in-the-moment, 24/7/365. Members can connect through shared lived experiences with a global network of peers, backed by the safeguarding of real, live, licensed clinicians overseeing the community around-the-clock. These clinicians empower individuals in peer support and foster and maintain a safe, vibrant environment.

If you are interested in offering safe and scalable ways to support your students’ mental health,contact usto find out moreabout Togetherall’s online community.  

If you’re an individual trying to join the Togetherall community via UF Health St. Johns Care Connect, click here.