Public service announcement: social isolation and loneliness and COVID-19

As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are required to be less social in order to avoid infecting themselves and others with the virus. With county and state mandates on social distancing and self-quarantining, it will be harder for people to maintain their social connections. Although the implementation of “physical distancing” is necessary […]

System of Care provides mental health help

OKEECHOBEE — We wrote our first article in April of 2018 about the Children’s Mental Health – System of Care in Okeechobee County. We’ve come a long way since then! This is just an update to let you know the progress we have made in less than two years. What is a system of care? […]

Farm dinner supports mental health, recovery services

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Livestock Market was the unique setting of a sold out Farm-to-Table Dinner on Nov. 7, hosted by ranchers and business owners Jeff and Debbie Clemons, and benefiting New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee, a nonprofit mental health and addiction recovery agency. More than 100 guests filled the historic landmark, […]

School districts react to new mental health mandate

HENDRY COUNTY — On July 17, the State Board of Education voted to require every Florida public school to provide students in grades 6-12 at least five hours of mental health instruction. Education officials at the Florida Department of Education first proposed the change in June following a meeting with Florida’s first lady, Casey DeSantis, […]

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

“July 2, 2014 was my day. That was the day I was going to kill myself,” said Leah Suarez. “It’s difficult to stand up and say that,” she told the Okeechobee County Board of Commissioners at its May 9 meeting. She shared her own story because she wants our community to understand how important mental […]