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Florida Department of Children and Families Announces Additional Resiliency Resource for Floridians Recovering from Hurricane Ian

December 8, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, Secretary Shevaun Harris announced that the Department of Children and Families has launched a new behavioral health resource that is available to Floridians statewide. The Department has partnered with Cass to offer on-demand mental and behavioral health support. Developed by mental health experts, Cass uses Artificial Intelligence technology to deliver emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week though text messaging.

Anyone seeking support can text the message "Hi" to 1-833-365-CHAT (2428). Floridians can chat with Cass for emotional support at any time and learn tools to build resilience and self-awareness. Cass follows up with reminders and check-ins to reinforce use of skills learned in previous conversations and promote long-term resiliency. The text messages are available in English and Spanish.

"I am thankful for Governor DeSantis' commitment to prioritizing the availability of resources to aid in all aspects of Hurricane Ian recovery," said Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris. "Individuals impacted by Hurricane Ian may experience the emotional impacts at any point in the day. We are excited to launch this new resource which makes getting support easily accessible day or night."

Cass is the newest addition to the behavioral health resources that have launched to assist individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Ian. The Department, in collaboration with First Lady Casey DeSantis previously launched the Family Support Line to connect Hurricane Michael survivors with families impacted by Hurricane Ian. Individuals who would like to talk with a Family Support Peer can call 888-850-SWFL. Also launch to assist following Hurricane Ian is the First Responder Support Line 407-823-1657. This resource combines current resources into a single point of contact that will connect first responders with behavioral health professionals.

The Florida Department of Health and the Department have partnered with BetterHelp to offer mental health services through three months of free online therapy to those impacted by Hurricane Ian. To access these free services, Floridians can visit and use code: HurricaneIanBetterHelp will then prompt impacted Floridians with a questionnaire to best match them with a licensed mental health professional.