Pinellas Pediatric Practice Expands to Offer On-Site Mental Health Services for Kids

JWB Communications Team | JWB Communications Team

May 18, 2022

Juvenile Welfare Board and North Pinellas Children’s Medical Center Cut Ribbon and Host Tours in Recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month

(PALM HARBOR, FL) In recognition of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month, the Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB) and North Pinellas Children’s Medical Center held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to signify the recent expansion of integrated mental health and support services within North Pinellas Children’s Medical Center.

When we talk about healthy children, we’re really talking about both physical and mental health. We know that childhood experiences lay the foundation for future success. Nearly 50% of all chronic mental health conditions begin by age 14, yet most conditions go untreated for years.

That’s why JWB launched the Children’s Mental Health Initiative, a multipronged approach that is focused on prevention, early detection, and intervention. For example, JWB provides funding to integrate mental health and support services within pediatric practices, helping to reduce barriers and increase access for children and their families. JWB first funded mental health supports within Evara Health’s pediatric offices, and most recently at North Pinellas Children’s Medical Center. Collectively, these two Pinellas pediatric practices will be able to reach more than 40,000 children with mental health support each year!

Why are prevention, early detection, and interview of young children so critical?

  • 1 in 5 youth will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime
  • 1 in 6 children ages two to eight have a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder
  • 1 in 4 youth have considered suicide and/or have a plan
  • In December 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General issued its first-ever Youth Mental Health Advisory. Advisories are reserved for significant public health challenges that need the nation’s immediate awareness and action to urgent public health issues. Highlights from the Advisory include:
    • Mental health challenges are the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people
    • 1 in 5 children ages 3 to 17 in the U.S. report having a mental, emotional developmental, or behavioral disorder
    • Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, studies revealed alarming increases in the prevalence of mental health challenges:
    • In 2019, one in three high school students and half of female students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness – an overall increase of 40% from 2009
    • 19% seriously considering attempting suicide – a 36% increase from 2009
    • 16% reported having a suicide plan – a 44% increase from 2009
    • Between 2007 and 2018, suicide rates among youth ages 17 to 24 increased by 57% – and early estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics suggest there were tragically more than 6,600 deaths by suicide among the 10-24 age group in 2020.

Photos, video clips, and interviews available upon request; contact



For 75 years, the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County (JWB) has been investing in the futures of children to strengthen our community. Governed by an 11-member Board and driven by data, JWB ensures children are ready to learn, ready to succeed, and ready to thrive in homes, schools, and neighborhoods that are healthy and safe. In FY21, JWB and our partners served more than 58,000 children and families through 85 programs with 55 nonprofit agencies. Plus, collective efforts to address childhood hunger, grade-level reading, and preventable child deaths served thousands more. Click here for a copy of the JWB Children’s Mental Health Initiative Impact Sheet, or learn more at: