Kids’ Minds Matter has received a $65,000 grant from the Clark Family Foundation to provide a special vehicle to transport children suffering from a mental health episode. The Kids’ Minds Matter Collier County Transport Project is a partnership with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, and the vehicle will be like one used since 2021 in Lee County.
“We are grateful to the Clark Family Foundation for enabling us to continue to improve the mental health outcomes of children in crisis by supporting this vehicle in Collier County,” said Alyssa Bostwick, vice president of operations and chief nurse executive for Golisano Children’s Services. “We rely on philanthropic support of the community to continue to make enhancements to children’s services and wellbeing.”
The children transported in the vehicle are under Baker Act, where families and professionals can provide emergency mental health services for people who have been determined to potentially be a harm to themselves or others. In 2022, 377 Collier County children in mental health crisis had to be transported by law enforcement to a mental health provider, most of them are transported from school. When children are transported in a law enforcement vehicle, they are handcuffed and taken to a treatment facility. The new vehicle does not look like law enforcement vehicles but is equipped with safety features to keep children who may be in a difficult place mentally from becoming violent or trying to escape.
The vehicle will also be used for community outreach, special events and education about mental health issues.
For information and how to donate to Kids’ Minds Matter to support improvements for area mental and behavioral health services, visit KidsMindsMatter.com.
About Kids’ Minds Matter
Founded in 2016 by Susan Goldy and Scott Spiezle, Kids’ Minds Matter is a unified movement in Southwest Florida dedicated to advancing pediatric mental and behavioral health services. By developing clinical pathways to screen and treat patients, enhancing public awareness through education, and lobbying for systemic change and sustainable funding, Kids’ Minds Matter aims to align mental health providers, local agencies, the judicial system, law enforcement, schools and faith-based organizations. Kids’ Minds Matter is managed through the Lee Health Foundation. Please visit KidsMindsMatter.com or call 239-343-6950 for more information.