COVID-19 is blamed for the sky-high number of children held under the Baker Act
COVID-19 is blamed for the sky-high number of children held under the Baker Act

COVID-19 is blamed for the sky-high number of children held under the Baker Act

Leaders of a pediatric mental health consortium in Lee County are crossing their fingers that a $ 5 million grant is coming to expand services to an escalating number of local children in crisis since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That “Childhood MathThe “r” initiative was to learn in June whether the grant would be awarded by the federal government through the U.S. rescue plan, said Dr. Paul Simeone, Vice President and Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Lee Healththe public hospital system in Lee.

The funding will be for four years to create an integrated system of mental health services for children, including crisis assistance under the state The Baking Act law, where the case volume has exploded since the pandemic.

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The Baker Act allows someone to be involuntarily detained for mental health evaluation for fear that the individual may harm themselves or others.

Simeone and others with the Kids’ Minds Matter initiative, founded in 2016 and operating through Lee Health Foundationheld a Facebook-based town hall meeting on May 16 to address how pediatric mental health services cannot keep up with the increase in cases brought by the pandemic.

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