Health and Wellness


Each year, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) surveys parents of children with an individual education plan (IEP) to determine how well your child’s school is partnering with you and promoting your involvement in your child’s education. All states must collect this data as part of their State Performance Plan, as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

You can complete the survey online at or request a paper survey from the Exceptional Student Education Department.

Your feedback is important in helping the state and local school systems continue improving educational programs for children with special needs. Thank you!
Did you know…?
·         1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, and less than half of them receive treatment.
·         1 in 20 U.S. adults experience a serious mental illness each year, and less than two-thirds of them receive treatment.
·         1 in 6 U.S. youth experience a mental health condition each year, and only half of them receive treatment.
·         50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
·         In 2020, there was a 31% increase in mental health-related emergency department visits among U.S. adolescents. Source:

Getting Help...
Big Bend 211 - Dial 211 or (850) 617-6333 – Available 24/7
By dialing 2-1-1, you reach caring, trained counselors who can provide supportive counseling and information about and referrals to programs in the community.
Apalachee Mobile Response Team (MRT) - 800-342-0774 – Available 24/7
The MRT provides crisis intervention and emergency behavioral health assessments.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - ‍1-800-273-TALK (8255) – Available 24/7
The Lifeline provides confidential support for people in distress, plus prevention and crisis resources.   ‍
Crisis Text Line. Text CRISIS to 741741 – Available 24/7
911 **If someone is feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or feel if they want to harm themselves or others, call 911.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

    Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
    Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
    Family history of mental health problems

Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.
Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:

    Eating or sleeping too much or too little
    Pulling away from people and usual activities
    Having low or no energy
    Feeling numb or like nothing matters
    Having unexplained aches and pains
    Feeling helpless or hopeless
    Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
    Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
    Yelling or fighting with family and friends
    Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
    Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
    Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
    Thinking of harming yourself or others
    Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

Learn more about specific mental health problems and where to find help.
Positive mental health allows people to:

    Realize their full potential
    Cope with the stresses of life
    Work productively
    Make meaningful contributions to their communities
Ways to maintain positive mental health include:  

    Getting professional help if you need it
    Connecting with others
    Staying positive
    Getting physically active
    Helping others
    Getting enough sleep
    Developing coping skills   
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat now.

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 or chat now.

Call the Florida Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873, Florida Relay 711 or TTY 1-800-955-8771. Or report abuse online.

Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

If you or someone you care about is feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911

Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.

Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset, confused or even angry about the disruption to their normal life. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.

Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.

Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.

Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.

Connect with your friends and family members.

Learn more about helping children cope.

Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.

Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Many people are using video chats to feel connected to their friends and loved ones and report that it is helpful to relieve anxiety and  stress.

Learn more about taking care of your emotional health.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Webinar: COVID-19 Mental Health Tips for Children and Families


Webinar: Mental Health for Remote Workers - Supporting Employees and One Another     


 Coping with Covid-19 through Connections (YouTube videos)



One Mind app logo

This app, which is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, was created to help people struggling with depression. It can also help those who are dealing with anxiety, stress, anger, and other issues, as it helps to identify thought patterns that lead to negative feelings and offers up alternate ways of thinking during tough times.

It offers features like relaxing breathing techniques, a journal to keep track of thoughts and moods, guided exercises to help you feel grounded, and other inspirational materials.

Cost: Free, but offers in-app purchases

mindshift logo
MindShift is a mental health app designed specifically for teens and young adults with anxiety. Rather than trying to avoid anxious feelings, Mind Shift stresses the importance of changing how you think about anxiety. Think of this app as the cheerleader in your pocket, encouraging you to take charge of your life, ride out intense emotions, and face challenging situations. (Free; iOS and Android)
Happify logo

Happify!  Need a happy fix? With its psychologist-approved mood-training program, the Happify app is your fast-track to a good mood. Try various engaging games, activity suggestions, gratitude prompts and more to train your brain as if it were a muscle, to overcome negative thoughts. The best part? Its free! (Free; iOS and Android)

Five Star Life is releasing our Social and Emotional Learning video curriculum to students, parents, and educators to access online for FREE. During this time of uncertainty, students and parents need hope and support. Our video lessons will help students overcome fear and anxiety, as well as, help them adjust to a new routine of completing school work at home. Here are some of the topics covered to help students adapt and adjust:

  •  Dealing with change
  •  Coping with stress and anxiety
  •  Managing conflict
  •  Strategies for time management
  •  Goal-setting
  • Navigating friendships and social life

Students and parents can subscribe to our Five Star Life YouTube Channel for daily content, including live streams and two SEL video lessons per week.

Don’t forget about the downloadable journal reflection notes to help process the video lesson. Click here to receive notes and COVID-19 curriculum updates.

Follow us on social media (@thefivestarlife) for updates and join us for weekly LIVE STREAMS WITH COACH SETH & COACH MORGAN.

Hit us up on social media or click here to submit questions for Coach Seth and Coach Morgan.

Questions will be answered during the live streams.  

Learn more about 5-Star Life Social and Emotional Learning Video Curriculum.