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United Way Suncoast and HCA Healthcare Partner Up for Mental Health Awareness Kits

United Way Suncoast team members Autumn Pandolfo, Nicole Paddock and Jessica Rojas recently joined volunteers from HCA Largo West Hospital to put together mental health kits.

A clear message originated from a recent joint project between United Way Suncoast and HCA Florida Largo West Hospital: take a moment for yourself and prioritize your mental health.

The two organizations teamed to organize a healthcare kit event on May 31, creating 150 mental healthcare kits for adults in the community. Volunteers from both organizations worked tirelessly, some even stopping in during their free time to help organize and assemble the kits.

Unveiling United Way Suncoast’s Mindful Kits

Each kit contained a coffee mug, an assortment of tea bags, a stress ball, nourishing lotion, a journal, a pen for journaling, coloring pages, coloring pencils, exfoliating gloves, a shower steamer, a scented candle, a mindfulness calendar, and helpful community resources. United Way Suncoast specially curated the kits to promote well-being.

“Given that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we saw an opportunity to support the ALICE families that United Way Suncoast serves throughout the year,” said Autumn Pandolfo, United Way Suncoast Vice President of Philanthropic Engagement. “By distributing these kits, we aim to provide them with essential resources and tips to strengthen their mental well-being, helping them overcome challenges and barriers they may encounter.”

Pandolfo added that the organization worked to ensure the resources and information are accurate, relevant, and accessible to individuals with varying levels of mental health knowledge.

HCA Healthcare Amplifies Support With Additional Resources

Andrea Preisler, Director, Behavioral Health Physician and Provider Relations at HCA Florida Largo West Hospital shared about the extra support provided to those who receive mental health awareness kits. The kits include resources for intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs at HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital and HCA Largo West. In addition, the local 2-1-1 Crisis Hotline and the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (9-8-8) serve as valuable resources.

First responders also can access the 9-8-8 First Responder Hope Line for crisis support. HCA Florida Largo West Hospital has also established a 24/7 private entrance for first responders and their families seeking in-patient mental health support without any questions asked.

Elevating Well-Being

Tiffany Briggs, Director of Communications and Community Engagement at HCA Florida Largo West, said the kits will positively impact the mental health of community members. She emphasized the importance of providing a support system through relaxation and mindfulness techniques and the self-care aspect of the journals.

According to Briggs, the hospital devotes energy and effort to improving mental health awareness and addressing multiple aspects of mental health. One such initiative involved a panel discussion with a therapist, a cardiologist, and a dietician. The panel explored the relationship between food and mental health, and how mental health can affect cardiovascular health. The panelists fielded questions from the audience to create an open and honest environment. The cardiologist was able to provide insights into mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, making the event informative and impactful for the attendees, Briggs added.

Click here to learn more about HCA Florida Largo West’s Behavioral Health efforts. Stay connected with United Way Suncoast by visiting our volunteer website and exploring our monthly engagement opportunities.

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