Martin County Board of County Commissioners and United Way of Martin County partner to expand mental health services for children and families

Martin County children and families will have expanded access to mental health services thanks to an investment of $500,000 in federal funding allocated amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding, made available by Martin County Board of County Commissioners through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will be administered by United Way of Martin County in collaboration with four local mental health providers who serve children and families: Banner Lake Community Center, Project LIFT, Suncoast Mental Health and Tykes & Teens. 

Mental health is of utmost concern as people’s lives remain upended by the pandemic and students struggle to cope with an unconventional school year. Funds will allow mental health providers to meet the increased demand for services caused by the pandemic and help address the behavioral health needs of children and families regardless of their ability to pay for services. 

"Too many families suffered from mental health crises without knowing where to turn even before COVID-19," United Way of Martin County President/CEO Carol G. Houwaart-Diez said. "More than ever, it's critical that essential mental health services be readily available at no cost to those who can’t afford them.”

Individuals and families who need mental health services are encouraged to reach out to the organizations listed below. People in crisis can also get immediate help by calling 211 -- a community helpline and crisis hotline that provides suicide prevention, crisis intervention, information, assessment, and referral to community services for people of all ages.

Banner Lake Community Center
The Banner Lake Community Center serves the children and families of Banner Lake and nearby neighborhoods. The CARES Act funding will enable the Banner Lake Community Center to provide immediate, one-on-one therapeutic interventions and trauma support for children who experience an abrupt change in familial or living circumstances, acute trauma, or are displaying behavioral indicators consistent with developmental trauma.

Project LIFT
Project LIFT is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk teens and their families through substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, mentoring and vocational skills training. The CARES Act funding will enable Project LIFT to provide services to the waitlist of 60 youth who have been referred to the program.

Suncoast Mental Health Center
Suncoast Mental Health Center provides assessment, counseling, case management and psychiatric services to children, their families and adults on the Treasure Coast. The funding will enable Suncoast Mental Health Center to offer 330 individual and group therapy sessions at no cost to Martin County residents. In addition, targeted therapy will be offered to teachers and administrative staff and short-term services will be provided to front-line healthcare workers.

Tykes & Teens
Tykes & Teens prioritizes children’s mental health through prevention, education and treatment. The CARES Act funding will enable Tykes & Teens to provide counseling services to children whose parents demonstrate an inability to pay as well as clients who are 18 years or older who are not covered under their parent’s insurance. Tykes & Teens will also provide case management and wraparound services to provide a systematic approach to overcome mental-health related difficulties.

For more information about United Way of Martin County, visit or call 772-283-4800.

About United Way of Martin County
United Way of Martin County’s mission is to lift the community and change lives together through the collective power of advancing the common good. Since 1972, the United Way has been working to create long-term social change and provide support to Martin County residents by investing in programs that strive to: enhance healthy living, improve education, and support financial stability.