GOV. SCOTT: WE WILL PROPOSE OVER $19 MILLION TO HELP FLORIDIANS AFFECTED BY MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following a meeting between Governor Rick Scott and the Secretary of the Department of Children and Families Mike Carroll today, Governor Rick Scott announced that he will propose over $19 million in his recommended budget for mental health and substance abuse needs in Florida. This includes $12.8 million for Community Behavioral Health Services, $3.7 million to add more Community Action Treatment (CAT) teams and $2.8 million to expand Family Intensive Treatment (FIT) teams. This funding will support the efforts outlined in Executive Order 15-175 that Governor Scott issued earlier this month to better coordinate mental healthcare services across Florida.

Governor Rick Scott said, “It is critical that we do all we can to help individuals and families affected by mental illness and substance abuse in our state. The funding we are announcing today will work side-by-side with the pilot projects Secretary Carroll is conducting in Broward, Alachua and Pinellas counties to review services at the local level so we can understand how to better coordinate care across our state. We want Florida to be the best state for families to live their dreams and we have to get better at supporting individuals and families affected by mental illness and substance abuse in their communities, instead of in the custody or supervision of the state. We look forward to announcing more funding in our recommended budget for Floridians struggling with mental illness and substance abuse later this year.”

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said, “Governor Scott’s proposal today is fundamental to executing his Executive Order to develop a more integrated behavioral health service delivery system that will allow more individuals to live and be served in their own communities. We know that state funding alone will not produce better outcomes for those with mental illness and substance abuse needs, and that is why we are laser-focused on our pilot programs in Broward, Alachua and Pinellas counties so we can develop a more coordinated way to serve patients. I truly appreciate Governor Scott’s engagement on this critical issue and his commitment to funding these services in his budget.”

The proposed funding for Community Behavioral Health Services will do the following:

  • Work to support individuals with mental health needs in their communities instead of in custody or under supervision of the state.
  • Help transition individuals with mental health needs from state facilities back to their communities so they can get the skills, support and training they need to lead more productive and independent lives.
  • Strengthen counties to work with local entities, law enforcement and non-profit organizations to better serve individuals with behavioral health needs.

The proposed funding for CAT teams will do the following:

  • Add five additional CAT teams in communities that do not currently have them. CAT teams provide comprehensive treatment to youth with significant behavioral and mental health needs so care can be received in communities.
  • It is estimated that an additional 395 families will be served with this funding.

The proposed funding for FIT teams will do the following:

  • Expand FIT teams to six additional counties that have high numbers of verified abuse and neglect reports related to substance abuse. FIT teams provide intensive team-based, family-focused services to families in the child welfare system with parental substance abuse.
  • It is estimated that an additional 280 families will be served by the expanded FIT teams.

Click HERE to view Executive Order 15-175 signed earlier this month by Governor Scott.

Click HERE to view Executive Order 15-134 signed by Governor Scott in July.

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