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WPBF News Features AACY

March 4, 2021 - Thank you to all of our supporters, who make helping families like The Prophets, a reality.
And, thank you for WPBF for this coverage!

Resources to Help with Mental Health Concerns and the Impacts of Covid-19

AACY National Advisory Council – March 4, 2021
Click here for a Summary Sheet of mental health concerns and the impact of Covid-19

Impact of Covid-19 on Mental Health--Global Perspective



Surveys Re: Coronavirus Effects on Both Children and Adults




Surveys Re: Coronavirus Effects on Adolescents and Youth




Covid-19 Mental Health Information and Resources—General




Covid-19 Mental Health Information and Resources--Adolescent Mental Health




Covid-19 Mental Health Information and Resources for Parents and Caregivers






Covid-19 Mental Health Resources for Youth




Organizations Destigmatizing Mental Illness

https://www.nami.org/   (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

https://bringchange2mind.org/ (Bring Change to Mind – an organization now in 22 states)

Immediate/Crisis Calls to Improve Mental Health Services to Teens:



Statement by a Licensed Mental Health Counselor: “As a therapist I can affirm that these have been terrible times for teens and emergent adults. So much isolation and disconnection have exacerbated anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations. Even for those kids who have been around others, the limitations have almost made it worse. Essentially, they know what real connection (authentic intimacy) is and it is not this.” – Jackie EPerryPh.D., NCC, LCMHCS,

AACY Seeks Valentine's Day Cupids!

January 27, 2021—BOCA RATON, FL- The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) is collecting Valentine’s Day cards, letters, and any other small tokens of love and appreciation for the middle and high school Caregiving Youth they serve, in honor of Valentine’s Day on Sunday, February 14.  These students all assist family member(s) who are chronically ill, injured, elderly or disabled.

AACY Board Member and Treasurer, Debralyn Belletieri, came up with the idea to send each of the youth Valentine’s Day cards, a project that her vibrant, 94-year-old mother-in-law was thrilled to help with.

“She loves to keep busy and a project like this is perfect for her,” Debralyn said. “Then I thought, why not reach out to our community who have been so incredibly generous and supportive of AACY, our efforts, and our Youth. Every time we ask for help, support, volunteers, items, you name it, our community is there.”

“Caregiving Youth are at the heart of all that AACY does,” AACY President and Founder Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD said. “Especially in this time of isolation for so many, reaching out to our community in support of our Youth is mutually beneficial. People want to help others and feel needed in return.”

Items (suggestions include: ring pops, sweethearts, gummy candies, heart stress balls, lip gloss, red nail polish, Beanie Baby-sized stuffed animals, or anything with small hearts on it) for AACY may be dropped off or mailed to the AACY office at 6401 Congress Ave. Suite 200 in Boca Raton; or can be arranged for pick up. Financial contributions are also graciously accepted, and may be made online. All items and donations must be received before Wednesday, February 10.

For more information on how to help with the AACY Valentine’s Day project or AACY, please contact Kelly Cronin, Communications Manager at: 561.391.7401 or by email: kelly@aacy.org

Founded in 1998 by Dr. Siskowski, what is now AACY currently serves more than 400 caregiving youth (with more enrolled each day), in 32 middle and high schools throughout Palm Beach County; and proudly boasts the Caregiving Youth Project (CYP), founded in 2006 which has served nearly 1,800 caregiving youth. The CYP provides professional services in school, out of school and at home as well as supports students and their families with a myriad of needs-driven wraparound services with the help of collaborating partners.

The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) is a Florida based 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation that began serving the greater Boca Raton community in 1998. Today it is the only organization of its kind in the United States for addressing the issues surrounding the silent, vulnerable, and hidden population, conservatively estimated to exceed 5 million children ages 8-18 years who provide care for chronically ill, injured, elderly or disabled family members.  In partnership with schools, it prioritizes students in greatest need of services and increases their ability to remain in school through counseling, education, activities, and respite while strengthening families by linking them with community services. To donate to AACY, volunteer or for more information, email info@aacy.org or call 561-391-7401.