AdventHealth advocates for mental health of youth, promotes new programs

The faith-based medical center is putting an emphasis on mental health advocacy. (Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash)

AdventHealth is partnering with Dr. Phillips Charities to create new programs to address mental health problems. 

Addressing Mental Health Among Youth 

In a report with WESH, the faith-based healthcare giant pointed out that an alarming number of young people were struggling with mental health.

Dr. Tina Gurnani told the news outlet that the past few years have been particularly challenging. Gurnani is a pediatric psychiatrist at AdventHealth. 

She told the news outlet that many teenagers were battling mental health issues. Gurnani added that an alarming number of young people were self-harming. 

These numbers did not pertain only to Florida but also across the United States. 

She pointed out that suicide was the third leading cause of death in 15 to 19 years. 

Gurnani added that suicide was the second leading cause of death among the 10 to 14-year-old age group. 

AdventHealth told the news outlet that more than 300 children were hospitalized due to a suicide attempt. 

Fighting Demons 

According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, one in seven teenagers experiences a mental health disorder. Many in the age group experience depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders. 

Gurnani explained that the struggle for every teen was different. Many were battling their demons which proved to be overwhelming for them. 

She pointed out that these young people faced bullying, anxiety about grades, as well as peer pressure. 

Gurnani added that many also suffered from a tumultuous life at home, which often included domestic abuse. 

According to the report, AdventHealth is working on programs to help address the mental health of the youth. 

The initiative is called the Center for Advancement and Support of Youth.

Supporting Youth 

Dr. Phillips Charities gave a $6 million grant to support the program. 

The comprehensive pediatric and young adult mental and behavioral health program is the first of its kind in Central Florida.

Ken Robinson told the news outlet that the program wants to put mental health care into the pediatrician's offices. Robinson is the CEO of Dr. Phillips Charities. 

Robinson admitted that every parent wanted to believe that nothing was wrong with their children. He pointed out that doing so meant that they could not see the demons they were dealing with. 

He stressed that they needed to address these problems so that children could get their needed help. 

"People have to know that everybody should seek some sort of counseling and that it's OK. It is OK not to be OK," Robinson told their parents.

He urged parents and guardians to educate themselves on mental health or ask the experts. Robinson pointed out that it was paramount that they understood what their children were going through. 

Robinson said they needed to talk to their children and assure them they had nothing to fear. 

Gurnani echoed Robinson's advice, saying that one should not be afraid to seek out professional help when needed. 

Medical experts also encouraged parents to learn about mental health. They also emphasized that communication was crucial in dealing with such issues. 

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