e Annual Giving - Community Health of South Florida

Each year, as many as 800 children in Miami-Dade County are Baker Acted at Community Health of South Florida, Inc.’s (CHI) adult crisis center alone. This staggering number does not include the hundreds of other children who are voluntarily brought in by their parents, concerned with their child’s mental state.


When a child or adult is Baker Acted, they are admitted to a health facility for psychiatric care because they are at risk for harming themselves or others. CHI often receives children in distress at our adult crisis center, which is not equipped to meet the treatment needs of mentally ill children.


When children are processed under the Baker Act, CHI’s doctors and specialists work feverishly to find them a bed at a local children’s crisis center, but oftentimes there are no available beds. On some occasions, children can wait up to two days in local emergency rooms due to a lack of available beds.


Distance is also an issue for children traveling from the southernmost parts of the state. Children with severe mental distress in Homestead and the Florida Keys travel long distances when seeking a children’s crisis center, some as much as 100 miles.


That’s why we’re building the first comprehensive Children’s Crisis Center in southern Miami-Dade County. This intensive in-patient 24-hour facility will be designed to treat children in need, regardless of whether or not they can afford care.

“It feels like you’re in a dark hole. You can’t see, you can’t think or feel anything. It’s like you’re sad and there is no happiness.”
– Jahira, Age 7, CHI Patient


“Each scar has a memory… I always consider myself a broken person”
– Melody, CHI Patient, about cutting herself to release her pain

Since 1971, CHI has been a beacon of hope for people of all ages by providing comprehensive primary and behavioral healthcare. CHI is committed to improving specialized care for children in South Florida who are suffering from psychological issues or who have been victimized by abuse. The lack of access to intensive behavioral health treatment and shortage of overnight short-term residential children’s crisis units is leaving far too many kids in dire situations without the necessary psychiatric care they desperately need.

Children in South Florida need your help!


  • In South Florida, there are families that travel more than 100 miles to bring their kids to a children’s crisis center.


  • Nationwide, school shootings continue to take the lives of our youth. Here in South Florida, the Parkland shooting showed what can happen if mental health treatment goes unaddressed.


  • It is estimated that in Miami-Dade County, approximately 5,000 kids a year experience a mental and emotional crisis, putting them at risk for hurting themselves or others.


  • Data shows that half of all mental illnesses begin before the age of 14 and half of all cases do not receive treatment.


These children and their families are desperate for help, and we can’t afford to let them wait any longer. Join the movement to save our children and help fund the Children’s Crisis Center at CHI.

Join our cause and help us build The Children’s Crisis Center by making a donation today:

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Donation Total: $25.00 One Time

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