DCF, Partners Continue to Coordinate Behavioral Health Services in Pinellas County as Directed by Governor’s Executive Order

For Immediate Release: November 12, 2015

DCF, Partners Continue to Coordinate Behavioral Health Services in Pinellas County as Directed by Governor’s Executive Order
Steering Committee Named to Pilot the Project

TALLAHASSEE – As directed by Governor Rick Scott in Executive Order 15-175, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) recently hosted a planning meeting in Pinellas County to implement a pilot program as the second of three communities designated by the Executive Order to better enhance coordination in mental health services, along with Executive Order 15-134, to develop a statewide model for a coordinated system for behavioral health services. The first pilot community meeting took place in October in Broward County.

“A unified system of care for mental health and substance abuse services is an essential step in providing the best care to individuals and families in the state. Pinellas has a strong commitment from stakeholders to enhance community care,” said DCF Secretary Mike Carroll. “Our goals are to develop a statewide model for a coordinated system of care and to streamline the budgeting process.”

The meeting included representatives from DCF, Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, the Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office, Pinellas County, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Corrections, Suncoast Center, and the Florida House of Representatives. The representatives will also serve on the local project steering committee.

The Pinellas project will include a focus on highest utilizers - individuals who utilize the highest levels of services provided - to determine how best to coordinate and manage needed services. The steering committee also endeavors to conduct a community mapping project to assess the local system of care and identify gaps in community services.

DCF and Central Florida Behavioral Health Network facilitated the meeting and will work to provide leadership over the project, support the local steering committee, establish benchmarks, and collect and analyze data.

Contact: Michelle Glady, Press Secretary, 850-717-4450

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