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Researchers, foundation, pastors address mental heath in East G’ville

Dr. Carolyn Tucker, left, UF Florida Blue Endowed Chair in Health Disparities Research, will lead UF researchers and community members working to address mental health service disparities in East Gainesville.  She is pictured here with Gwendolyn Saffo on a panel at the 2022 UF Health Power Over Cancer event.
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The availability of mental health services in East Gainesville remain scarce even as stress, anxiety, grievance, depression and anger persist among residents.

To deal with the problem, University of Florida researchers are working to address this disparity by joining with the Florida Blue Foundation and a collaborative of local churches on a new community-centered mental health and well-being program.

“The Florida Blue Foundation’s programs are focused on impacting food security, improving health equity, advancing mental well-being, healthy communities, and addressing systemic racism and resulting health disparities,” according to www.floridablue.com.

Through the initiative, local adults and youths are training to become mental health and well-being support coaches who will then lead support groups for peers in the community. The team is currently enrolling participants in the support groups, and those interested should call 352-294-0652 for more information.

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