The City of Palm Coast is recognizing Mental Health Month during the month of May by helping to spread awareness of the importance of mental health and highlighting local resources.
The City recently collaborated with Jeannette Simmons, a Licensed Mental Health counselor and Chief Innovation Officer of local non-profit organization Flagler Cares, to highlight some of the most important mental health issues in our area and ways residents can get access to necessary resources. While Flagler Cares offers a number of different services to area residents, Simmons says that the approach of the organization is simple.
“Flagler Cares is a safety net organization and our goal is to address residents’ social care needs – we like to say we are humans helping humans,” Simmons said. “In the current climate, people have been a lot more open about talking about mental health, sharing that they have a mental health condition and are much more open to asking for help.”
In addition to her other duties, Simmons is also spearheading Governor Ron DeSantis’ Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) program response efforts here in Flagler County. In August of 2022, the Flagler was amongst 12 Florida counties to be selected for a statewide initiative targeting opioid addiction, and was subsequently awarded $1.2 million in state funding to help create a cohesive coordinated system of care for substance use disorder. Through the system, those struggling with opioid addiction are able to get the critical treatment, aid, and support they need with Flagler Cares acting as the central hub, providing a behavioral health navigator that oversees the progress of the participants in the program.
View the full video interview with Jeanette Simmons: