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The Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County (JWB) leads the Children’s Mental Health Initiative. This initiative is a multifaceted effort for children and families to ensure early detection, intervention, and treatment for mental health conditions. This external focus has led to increased awareness of the need for a holistic approach toward health and well-being within the staff and culture of JWB, and in the last two years, the JWB has made a concerted effort to do so.

JWB already follows the “4 A’s of a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace” as outlined as a best practice by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). This includes Awareness, Accommodations, Assistance, and Access.

In the last two years, JWB has revised its personnel policies to include six weeks of paid parental leave and allowance for utilization of sick leave for mental health for employees or family members. JWB has also maintained a hybrid work environment which has been favorably reported by JWB staff as supporting their work/life balance efforts.

In a recent staff survey, 99% of staff reported that their managers care about them as a person and 94% reported that they are proud to work at JWB.


“Mental health in the workplace at JWB means we have a solid infrastructure to enable us to adhere to the 4A’s of a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace and we truly care about our fellow employees and inquire as to their wellbeing,” said Chief Administrative Officer Lynda Leedy. “Given our policy changes and conscious efforts to bring more awareness to mental wellbeing needs, JWB believed we were a good candidate for Bell Seal certification.”

Other unique programming that JWB offers includes:

  • Hosting an annual staff appreciation day at a local park to celebrate the amazing staff that give so much to their work
  • Devoting sections of its all-staff Town Halls and Department meetings to self-care led either by an external guest or staff member
  • Providing an annual subscription to Cope Notes, a subscription-based daily affirmation for interested staff
  • Supplying all staff with branded notebook journals that feature a list of mental health resources
  • Posting regular Wellness Wednesday tips/stories on its intranet that encourage employee self-care and wellness
  • Pairing new employees with a “work buddy” from a different department to help them get connected to the organization and other staff who can support their success.
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