First Lady Casey DeSantis has announced three initiatives to aid young Floridians. Tackling subjects such as substance abuse, resiliency and mental health, these initiatives have websites and a wide range of support. They range from teaching skills required to avoid a crisis to a clearinghouse where help can be found.

The Resiliency Initiative for Florida Schools: The resiliency initiative for Florida schools emphasizes key character development skills, including volunteerism, teamwork and problem-solving. “Given the lessons I’ve learned traveling the state, we are changing the message on mental health and reframing it to resiliency and hope,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “We want to empower our youth with the tools and the skillsets to be resilient by learning how to persevere through life’s challenges. We know no one is immune from adversity and hardship. It’s not whether you’ll have challenges in life, but it’s about how you respond and persevere.”

Richard Corcoran

This initiative is a partnership with professional sports teams, athletes, the Florida Department of Education and Volunteer Florida to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Resiliency is created through perseverance and education – built on the strength that comes from overcoming that adversary,” said former Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. This partnership is supported by resiliency lessons and resources hosted on, Florida’s premier one-stop-shop for teachers, students and families that help bridge education in the classroom and at home.

Hope Ambassador Clubs have been launched throughout Florida, including these in our area:

Clay County:

Keystone Heights Middle High School

Middleburg High School

Ridgeview High School


Buddy Taylor Middle School


Burns Science and Technology Charter School

University High School

The Facts. Your Future: A campaign designed to educate young Floridians about the impacts of substance abuse, is a new website that contains content that schools, teachers, and parents can download and use to educate children. First Lady DeSantis said, “We need to reach teens with important information related to substance abuse where they are spending their time – on social media – to help them lead long, healthy and productive lives.

The website features:

  • A downloadable version of the School Assemblies Toolkit, which includes fact sheets and a planning guide for interactive school-based assemblies;

  • Shareable versions of social media ads;

  • Shareable versions of digital videos;

  • A science-based video explaining the harmful effects of substance use on the developing teen brain; and

  • A resources page with links to the Florida crisis line and the National Suicide Prevention hotline.

Digital components will be shared on some of the most visited social channels. This initiative is in partnership with the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Education.

Hope for Healing Florida: The Hope for Healing website,, places resources for mental health and substance abuse providers at the fingertips of Florida residents. This partnership across state agencies covers categories that include health, food, housing, transit and care. The website makes it easy to contact resources easily with direct links to their websites.

“Floridians have shown tremendous resiliency over the past two years and I am humbled to help Florida’s families, children and environment to prosper. I am proud of the work we have done over the past year and I look forward to our state doing even more in 2022 to help Floridians respond to and triumph over life’s challenges.” 

– First Lady Casey DeSantis