Valerie Duquette
Valerie Duquette

Mental health affects every aspect of our lives, including how we think, feel and act. Having resources and support is critical for those experiencing mental health struggles.The CAIR Center is a supportive, compassionate place for youth and adults to access mental health crisis assessments, brief interventions, referral services, care coordination and assistance in establishing a long-term connection with a provider. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and located at UF Health Flagler Hospital in St. Johns County, the care team guides clients through the process to clarify questions, removes barriers and helps connect clients to social health services, if needed.

“We created the CAIR Center with a vision to provide access to care for anyone seeking assistance with behavioral health. We strive to provide a welcoming, compassionate environment to all who walk through our doors,” said Valerie Duquette, CAIR Center director. “We all deserve to take care of ourselves and be supported in our journey to mental wellness.”

There are things you can do to help promote a positive, safe space to discuss mental health and wellness with others.

  1. Check in with your loved one. Ask how they’re feeling and how things are going in their life. Listen to their words, and pay attention to any changes in behavior.

  2. Listen more than you talk. Be aware that someone may not be looking for problem-solving advice. They may just want to be heard and accepted.

  3. There is no wrong way to feel. “We all experience the world differently,” says Duquette. “Validate the feelings being expressed and create a safe environment to talk about it.”

  4. Avoid blame and shame. Treat mental health just as you would someone’s physical health. Providing a welcoming space to share can help break down blame and shame.

For more information about the CAIR Center, please call 904.819.5204 or visit

Flagler Health+ recently became part of the University of Florida’s academic health center and was renamed UF Health St. Johns.