Florida Blue Awards Grant top Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Florida Blue Awards Grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of America

The Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of the state’s leading health insurer, is providing a $400,000 grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help combat the youth mental health crisis, according to a media release. The grant is part of a larger commitment from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association through which Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the country will collectively invest more than $10 million over four years to help Boys & Girls Clubs of America implement behavioral health practices.

“Children today face many challenges that impact their emotional and mental well-being,” said Susan Towler, executive director of the Florida Blue Foundation, in the release. “By increasing access to mental health services and support, we can transform lives and help our youth better navigate and overcome social-emotional challenges.”

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than two-thirds of children experience at least one traumatic childhood experience by age 16.

“Adverse childhood experiences can put children at higher risk for mental health challenges later in life,” said Dr. Nick Dewan, vice president of behavioral health for Florida Blue., in the release “By raising awareness and equipping adults on how to better support our youth facing behavioral health challenges, we can help children and teens feel more hopeful about their future and increase their ability to flourish as they grow into young adults.”

Through a multi-year investment to ensure all 5,000+ Boys & Girls Clubs are trauma-informed in their practices by 2026, this partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association will strengthen the overall emotional and well-being of nearly 3.6 million youth and 48,000 local staff across the nation.

In fact, in Florida, nearly half of the 294 Boys & Girls Clubs locations have already begun adoption of trauma-informed practices.

Mental well-being is one of three priority funding areas for the Florida Blue Foundation, which has long supported efforts to address mental well-being and mitigate the stressors that impact entire families and communities. Since 2020, the Florida Blue Foundation has provided 46 grants totaling $15.3 million to organizations across Florida to address mental well-being.