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Third Annual BRAVE Summit Hosts More Than 1,000 Teenagers with Focus on Mental Health

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Erin
Third Annual BRAVE Summit Hosts More Than 1,000 Teenagers  with Focus on Mental Health
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The third annual BRAVE Summit, a free event for teens that aimed to break the stigma surrounding mental health, was held today, at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The event, hosted by Flagler Health+, was open to all high school students throughout Florida.

More than 1,000 students attended from throughout the state, coming from as far as Miami.

The Summit was part rock concert, part peer-to-peer support system, part education focused on encouraging youth to take charge of their mental health.

“Seeing this many young people participate in this year’s BRAVE Summit is very rewarding,” said Paige Stanton, event organizer from Flagler Health+. “It is our hope that they leave here knowing that there are people who care about their mental health and that there are resources available to help them should they ever need it.”

There was also a separate summit for parents, caregivers, and guardians to provide them with the resources needed for successful, productive conversations about mental health with their teens. There were 50 adults who attended in person, with another 20 participating in the summit via Zoom.

The BRAVE Summit is a centerpiece event of the BRAVE program. BRAVE, which stands for Be Resilient and Voice Emotions (BRAVE), was founded in 2019 and has made significant progress connecting high school teens to mental health resources.

Before BRAVE’s implementation in St. Johns County Schools, only 35% of students who were referred to mental health providers were seen by a medical professional. With the BRAVE program, that rate has increased to 90% Since its founding, and despite the pandemic, BRAVE has expanded into more school districts, including Clay, Nassau, Putnam, and Volusia Counties, with the ability to assist more than 170,000 students. The Florida House of Representatives approved $3 million in appropriations in the 2022-2023 budget to help BRAVE grow and expand into school districts throughout the stat