Setting the Record Straight

For Immediate Release:
October 29, 2015

Setting the Record Straight
The Tampa Bay Times Sensationalizes Incidents at
State Mental Health Treatment Facilities to Support False Narrative

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Times published an article today that misrepresents the Department of Children and Families’ management of Florida’s mental health hospitals. Instead of focusing on ongoing reforms and improvements in how Florida helps people dealing with mental illness and substance abuse, the Times has chosen to sensationalize and misrepresent the facts. This summer Governor Scott signed two Executive Orders to better coordinate care for Florida’s mentally ill. The Times fails to mention these reforms or any of the steps taken to better treat Floridians dealing with mental health and substance abuse illness.

Please see the statement below from Secretary Mike Carroll.

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said, “Earlier this year, Governor Scott signed an Executive Order to better coordinate mental health services across Florida. DCF has immediately begun implementing a more integrated behavioral health service delivery system that will allow more individuals to live and be served in their own communities instead of in the custody of the state.  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. 

“In addition to this new results-driven approach, Governor Scott has proposed increasing funding for mental health care in Florida by tens of millions of dollars this year. This funding will help support individuals with mental health needs in their communities instead of the state’s custody; better transition individuals from state facilities back into their communities; and strengthen our local partners to better serve individuals in their communities.”

See all of the Tampa Bay Times Myths vs. The Facts here.

Contact: Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, (850) 717-4450