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Acceptable, accessible mental health care provided at Here Tomorrow

April 2021: Joe Kenney is shown at the wall of his Southbank condominium, which is decorated with photos from his son's life.  Kenney's 30-year-old son, Gary, suffered from depression and committed suicide.  The sense of helplessness that Kenney felt when dealing with his son's depression led him to fund Here Tomorrow, a Neptune Beach based group that tries to get immediate help for those who need it.

The mission of Here Tomorrow, which opened in late 2021, is to transform lives by building a community where mental health care is acceptable and accessible. In other words, stigma has been eradicated from their program.

In Florida, suicide deaths have nearly doubled over the past 20 years. In addition, the rates for Duval and St. Johns counties are higher than the national average.

It defies logic that people with a medical condition can stay in a hospital as long as necessary, while those with a mental disorder are limited to 72 hours. From firsthand experience, we can tell you that is not enough time and timely follow-up care is simply unavailable, which often proves disastrous.

Barriers to mental health care include wait lists, insurance issues and a national shortage of mental health practitioners. The Here Tomorrow folks can provide same-day support, a response time that can make the difference in success or failure. Plus, many services are free of charge.

But the key to this organization’s success is the staff.

Services are delivered by highly trained and certified peer support specialists. Many of them are people with a “lived experience” who understand what others in crisis are going through, because they have been there themselves.

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