Industry News

December 2017

Georgia Commission on Children’s Mental Health releases report with recommendations to improve mental health outcomes for Georgia’s children

The landmark 2010 settlement agreement between Georgia and the Justice Department to improve mental health services in the state had one glaring gap. It didn’t address services for children.
Read the entire story here

Florida Department of Chldren and Familes publishes the final report of the Task Force on Involuntary Examination of Minors

The report provides excellent qualitative and quantitative analysis of recent trends in Baker Act referrals of minors in Florida. A thoughtful examination of the Root Causes behind the trends can be found on pages 20-25. A summary of recommendations to address the trends begins on page 30.
Download the report here

Clark Flatt speaks on Suicide Prevention

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 6pm-8pm
Florida A&M Univeristy Grand Ballroom
Download the flyer here

November 2017

NIH study of WWII evacuees suggests mental illness may be passed to offspring

Population study finds higher risk of psychiatric hospitalization among daughters of female evacuees.
Read the news release here

Plan to attend FSPC's 2018 Mini-Conference

The FSPC 2018 Third Annual Florida Taking Action for Suicide Prevention Mini-Conference is a two-half day event in Tallahassee, February 19 (Monday afternoon) & February 20 (Tuesday morning).

Citrus Health Network was selected as one of 24 winners of the 2017 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge nationwide.

Physical and Behavioral health, seamless integration. Congratulations to Citrus!
Read the story here

Machine learning identifies suicidal youth

Researchers used machine learning to analyze brain images and identify people with suicidal thoughts. If validated in larger groups of people, the approach could be used to assess suicide risk and monitor response to treatments.
Read the story here

Advancing the Practice of Pain Management Under the HHS Opioid Strategy

HHS is taking significant steps to implement the Opioid Strategy, including a long sought focus on advancing the practice of acute and chronic pain management. Our activities in this area fall into three categories: 1) Advancing national pain care policy; 2) Providing clinicians and patients with education and tools to improve pain care; and 3) Supporting cutting-edge research on pain.
Read more on the HHS website here

Florida’s New Level of Intensive Behavioral Health Community Care

Summary of Florida's CAT, FACT and FIT teams including maps with provider locations.
Download the document here

October 2017

The Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition newsletter is hot off the press!

View new information, become aware of valuable resources, and joln/connect with FSPC.
Download the newsletter here

What Trump's public health emergency declaration means for the opioid crisis

President Trump said Thursday that the opioid epidemic — which is killing more than 100 people each day — is the "worst drug crisis in American history" and said his administration is declaring it a public health emergency, pledging the nation's full resolve in overcoming it.
Read the Washington Post article here

NASMHPD report on full continuum psychiatric care

Nearly 10 million individuals in the United States are estimated to live with a diagnosable psychiatric condition sufficiently serious to impair their personal, social, and economic functioning. Hardly a day goes by without a study, headline, court case, or legislative action calling for reforming the mental health system to better serve this population. Often, these calls to action end in two words: “More beds.”
Download the report here

Support Breast Cancer Awareness

The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers the "Breast Health Guide" on their website. Learn more about breast health habits, risks, signs and detection.
Visit the website here


This week, Florida's behavioral health professionals and their trade associations met with all 27 Congressional offices and with both State senators in Washington DC to advocate for mental health and substance use funding and policy reform!

NIH-funded study to focus on newborns affected by opioids

The National Institutes of Health is funding a new study to evaluate treatment options for newborns with opioid withdrawal syndrome, a condition caused by exposure to opioids during pregnancy. Currently, health care providers in the United States lack standard, evidence-based treatments for neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, despite states reporting more cases (link is external) in recent years. The study, called Advancing Clinical Trials in Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (ACT NOW), aims to inform clinical care of these infants.

September 2017

Opioid Addiction Medications in Patients Taking Benzodiazepines or CNS Depressants: Drug Safety Communication - Careful Medication Management Can Reduce Risks

RECOMMENDATIONS: Health care professionals should take several actions and precautions and develop a treatment plan when buprenorphine or methadone is used in combination with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants.
Complete and submit the report online here
Download the form here 
or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

House Bill 1121 - Children's Baker Act

House Bill 1121 established the Task Force on Involuntary Treatment of Minors to examine the recent spike in involun­tary examinations of minors in Florida. Council members April Lott and Melis­sa Larkin Skinner serve as task force appointees, and staff and other Council members including Theresa Rulien and Maggie Labarta have been participating in the meetings.

DCF Assistant Secretary for SAMH John Bryant is leading this effort for the De­partment, and he aptly concluded at the August meeting that the increase in Bak­er Act exams of minors is a complicated, multivariate issue with many external and environmental factors contributing to the uptick.

The next meeting of the task force will take place on TH, 9/28 from 9a–4p at the DCF headquarters in Tallahassee. 
Click here for more information
July 20th meeting.
Click here for minutes and presentations
August 18th Meeting.
Click here for minutes and presentations 

Update for Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs for Opioid Disorders in Response to the Emergency Rule, 65DER 17-1, F.A.C.

Due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, the Department has extended the applicant submission dates. Applications will now be accepted at Department headquarters from October 2, 2017 at 8 a.m. Eastern Time until October 23, 2017, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Applications must be delivered to the following address: Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Building 6, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0700.
Click here to read the update
Additional Number of Opioid Treatment Programs Needed
County by county assessment.
Click here to review the counties

Application Forms to Apply for Licensure

Due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, the Department has extended the applicant submission dates. Applications will now be accepted at Department headquarters from October 2, 2017 at 8 a.m. Eastern Time until October 23, 2017, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Applications must be delivered to the following address: Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Building 6, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0700.
Click here to download the mh4036 provider application
Click here to download the mh4037 provider application

Update for Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs for Opioid Disorders in Response to the Emergency Rule, 65DER 17-1, F.A.C.

Due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, the Department has extended the applicant submission dates. Applications will now be accepted at Department headquarters from October 2, 2017 at 8 a.m. Eastern Time until October 23, 2017, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Applications must be delivered to the following address: Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Building 6, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0700.
Click here to read the update

DCF to Conduct Needs Assessment for Expansion of Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) this week revised state rule to expand methadone medication-assisted treatment to help fight the national opioid epidemic in Florida. The emergency rule for 65D-30.014, Florida Administrative Code, was adopted through emergency rulemaking as a result of Governor Rick Scott signing Executive Order 17-146 on May 3, declaring a statewide Public Health Emergency and directing the immediate draw down of grant funds through the federal State Targeted Response the Opioid Crisis Grant. 
Click here to read the needs assessment

The September 2017 issue of The Council Connection newletter is available

Our lastest version full of BHCon photos, timely articles and the latest news.
If you would like to receive the newsletter, contact Kendra Salvatore,

PREVENTION & AWARENESS - 3 Common Misbeliefs About Suicide

The ActiveMinds blog has a downloadable document available in hopes of changing the conversation about mental health. 
Click here to read the article and download the file

September is Suicide Prevention Month - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
Call 1-800-273-8255
Click here to get more information

Senator Nelson provides FEMA disaster assistance information

Hurricane Irma was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, prompting one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history. If you’re eligible, it’s important that you get your FEMA claim in as soon as possible, without delay. 
Click here to get more information

CDC and National Center for Health Satistics show increase in suicide in the US, 1999-2014

Suicide is an important public health issue involving psychological, biological, and societal factors (1,2). After a period of nearly consistent decline in suicide rates in the United States from 1986 through 1999 (3), suicide rates have increased almost steadily from 1999 through 2014. 
Click here to visit the website

Social Capital Project interactive Opiod information

Scroll down to the Unitentional Opiod Overdose Deaths by State to use the interactive presentation.
Click here to visit the website

The Gainesville Sun - Properly fund drug treatment

Meridian CEO Maggie Labarta said the $440,000 in resulting cuts there are being spread between a variety of programs, resulting in such things as reduced capacity in its substance abuse treatment and psychiatric services for both children and adults. Long waiting lists for such programs will only be longer now.

Supportive Housing, Child Welfare, and Student Homelessness an emphasis of the 2017 SUPPORTIVE HOUSING SUMMIT – Keys to Success

Early registration ends September 15!
Click here to read the child wellfare flyer
Click here to visit the Summit webpage

August 2017

Gov. Scott extends opioid executive order, state receives $20 million in emergency funds

Scott extended the order for 60 days on Monday after Gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Jack Latvala called for the extension. As part of the extension, Latvala also asked Scott for $20 million in state emergency funds for detox, residential treatment and outpatient care.

The federal funds can go towards counseling or other wrap around services for those addicted to opioids, but important services like Central Receiving Facilities came up short. “The central receiving systems are integral to the local communities," explained Melanie Brown-Woofter of the Florida Council for Community Mental Health. "They help to serve to the no-wrong-door approaches that anyone who is in crisis or who needs mental healthcare or substance use services can approach that facility. ”
Click here to read the article on the WCTV website

Governor Scott announces Florida Suicide Prevention Week

September 10–16, 2017 set as Florida Suicide Prevention Week.
Read the proclamation here

2017 Behavioral Health Conference well attended

Last weeks conference held at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando was the largest attendance ever for the conference! A great line-up of presenters, exhibitors and special guests made for a lively event.
Click here to see photos from the 2017 BHCon!

Put inmates where they belong, which might not be jail

Collier County doesn’t need a larger or new jail as has been suggested recently. In fact, it may not need one as large as it has. If the Collier jail wasn’t functioning as the largest mental health and substance abuse holding center in the county, many confined there would be elsewhere and better off. The opposite is true of Collier-based David Lawrence Center. If it was expanded and could function as the largest mental health and substance abuse treatment center in the county, many now in jail could gain hope through the hands of trained professionals.
Read the Naples Daily News, Editorial Board article here

2017 Behavioral Health Conference is next week!

We look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando for what promises to be our biggest event ever.
Visit the conference website here

Gracepoint and a "no wrong door" approach in Hillborough County

The Tampa Bay Times has posted an article entitled "How the 'no wrong door' approach to mental health treatment is playing out in Hillsborough County".
Read the article on the Tampa Bay Times site here

Agency for Health Care Administration’s Medicaid Drug Therapy Management Program for Behavioral Health has released a new best practice guide

The 2017 Florida Best Practice Recommendations for Women of Reproductive Age with Serious Mental Illness and Comorbid Substance Use Disorders provides guidance to clinicians who treat women that are pregnant or of childbearing age with substance use problems. The recommendations cover a range of conditions that providers may encounter in their clinical practice including: alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, disorders of other drugs of abuse, and comorbid SMI and substance use. The recommendations also provide information about the use of long-acting contraceptives in women of childbearing age.
Download the guide here

The Florida Nursing Quarterly is now available

The Florida Nursing Quarterly's traditional journal and interactive digital companion serves and is read by over 500,000 nurses, administrators, faculty and students of every degree, 4 times a year across Florida and its surrounding states. This magazine reaches every nurse, faculty and student of every degree and specialty. We hope you enjoy this edition and encourage you to share it with friends and colleagues!
View the online edition here

July 2017


As part of our IMPOWER Strategic Plan entitled, “Virtual Success,” we are moving towards becoming a predominantly virtual company for the treatment of Behavioral Health Outpatient Therapy and Psychiatric Services. Beginning September 1, 2017 and ending in March 2018, IMPOWER will be closing our current physical outpatient offices in Brevard, Longwood and Kissimmee.
Read more here

Without the new federal money, funding for mental health and substance abuse would have declined by $11 million

More than 260 people died last year, according to the medical examiner. After nearly doubling in 2015, accidental drug overdose deaths rose even further in Southwest Florida last year and remain at alarming levels, according to the data compiled by the regional medical examiner.
Read the article on the Herald Tribune website

Rise in child Baker Act cases prompts meeting at capitol

"They get at their wit's end, and teachers and parents and caregivers don't know what to do other than to use the Baker Act system," said April Lott, the CEO of Directions for Living in Pinellas County.
Read the article on the Fox 13 website

FL Takes Hard Line On Opioids But Some Question Approach

States across the country are struggling to hold off a rising tide of opioid abuse and Florida is no exception.
Read the article on the Health News Florida site
Listen to the audio

Melanie Brown Woofter, FCCMH interim President and CEO quoted in opioid article on funding.

“Any reduction in funding is a step backwards for a system of care that is already challenged to meet the behavioral health needs of local communities,” said Melanie Brown Woofter, the Florida Council for Community Mental Health’s interim president and CEO.
Read the article on the Herald-Tribune site here
In the Capitol News Service and on News4Jax and Tallahassee’s WCTV is a press video highlighting Melanie Brown Woofter, Jane Johnson and Mark Fontaine.
Watch the video here

Tampa Bay officials criticize Legislature for failing to tackle opioid epidemic

Joe Rutherford, CEO at GracePoint, quoted on the mental health funding cuts.
Read the article on the SAINTPETERSBLOG site here

WellCare Signs First Behavioral Health Home Agreement with Peace River Center for Personal Development

TAMPA, Fla. (May X, 2017) – WellCare of Florida, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), formed a new value-base care agreement for the establishment of a behavioral health home with Peace River Center for Personal Development (Peace River Center).
Under the agreement, Peace River Center will provide both behavioral and medical services for Staywell Medicaid members who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness (SMI). They will also be responsible for the integration and coordination of care for these member’s care, providing holistic care in one location.
Read the press release here


AAMC Webinar Features Med School’s Opioid Curriculum

Dr. Martin Klapheke, assistant dean of medical education and professor of psychiatry, who is leading UCF’s opioid education efforts, and Dr. Magdalena Pasarica, associate professor of medicine, showed how UCF includes opioid education in all four years of the curriculum.
Read the entire article on the UCFs website
Watch the webinar here

Treating patients with opioid disorders is not just about treating addiction

Patients with opioid use disorder are much more likely than the general population to have a host of other health conditions, including hepatitis C, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
Read the entire article on the STAT news website

AHCA Announces Release Date of the Invitation to Negotiate for SMMC Re-Procurement

The Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) for the re-procurement of the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program will be posted on or around July 14, 2017. The ITN will be posted to the Florida Department of Management Services’ Vendor Bid System website.
Click here for more information

Apalachee Center, CRMC and TMH Open Baker Act Central Receiving Facility

Announcing the opening of a Central Receiving Facility at Apalachee Center for individuals needing involuntary psychiatric admission under the Florida Baker Act or Marchman Act.
Click here to read the press release.

Charlotte Behavioral Health Care releases latest newsletter

The newsletter "HOPE Starts Here" is available online.We are excited for all the new developments as we grow our services to better serve the needs of our community.
Click here to read the latest HOPE Starts Here.

A Pulse Nightclub Responder Confronts A New Crisis: PTSD

Gerry Realin (left, above) and his wife Jessica are working to get first responders workers' compensation benefits in Florida.
Read the entire article on the NPR website here.

Gov. Scott calls for special session June 7-9

Today, Governor Rick Scott signed the budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year and vetoed $410 million in legislative projects that do not provide a great return for Florida families. Additionally, Governor Scott vetoed the Florida Educational Finance Program (FEFP) funding portions of the budget. Governor Scott is also vetoing HB 5501 which decreased funding to VISIT FLORIDA by over 60 percent. The Governor’s full budget veto list will be released later today.
Click here to read the Governor's proclamation.


SAMHSA’s Program to Achieve Wellness Announces the 2017 Recognition of Excellence in Wellness

Does your organization work to improve heart health for people with mental and/or substance use disorders? If so, we encourage you to apply for the opportunity to be considered for SAMHSA’s 2017 Recognition of Excellence in Wellness.
What:Through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Program to Achieve Wellness, organizations and communities will be recognized for their exemplary wellness efforts that improve the cardiovascular health of those living with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders.
When: Apply by July 28 to showcase how your organization or community improves wellness outcomes for people with mental and/or substance abuse disorders, including individuals living with serious mental illness.
To learn more and apply, download the Call for Applications here.

The 2017 Administrator’s Forum was another big success!

The Forum provides an opportunity for financial, information technology, human resource and administrative professionals to gather for two days of information-packed meetings, continuing education sessions and networking. This year’s Forum brought together over 150 representatives from 51 different community behavioral health providers across the state of Florida.  
Download the summary with links to the presentations.

NIH Multimodal Brain Stimulation, Colleen Hanlon

The National Institutes of Health is hosting the Multimodal TMS Speaker Series to bring together the leaders in the field conducting research using non-invasive brain stimulation and functional imaging including EEG and fMRI.
Colleen Hanlon will be speaking on May 31st, 2:30 pm. The event will be broadcast via web-ex and archived for later viewing. 
For more information click here.

FREE community event

Save the date in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Read the flyer here.

Report: Fentanyl Now Florida's Deadliest Drug

A new report from Florida medical examiners finds fentanyl caused more deaths than any other drug in Florida last year.
Read the article on the Health News Florida site here

Alarming stats on veteran suicide

For information about wellness services and support available for veterans:
Visit the After Deployment website here.

David Lawrence Center hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony

In the mental health field, there is reason to celebrate when more treatment options become available. That was the case last Friday when the David Lawrence Center hosted a fair and ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce a children’s outpatient complex on its Golden Gate Parkway campus in East Naples, along with a new pharmacy and adult primary-care center.
Read about the Genoa Company Pharmacy opening
Read about the children's program here
Read the Naples News story here

SAMHSA seeks applications for up to $7.8 million in grants to promote substance use disorder recovery

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is seeking applications for up to $7.8 million in FY 2017 Building Communities of Recovery grants. These grants are designed to help build recovery systems for people with substance use disorders in communities throughout the nation.
SAMHSA anticipates that up to 13 awards will be made for up to $200,000 each year for up to three years. Actual award amounts may vary, depending on the availability of funds.
Click here for detailed information on the initial announcement

Ashleigh Husbands - Regional Suicide Prevention Specialist, FL LINC Project

Ashleigh was recently selected through a competitive audition to talk about youth suicide prevention at an upcoming TEDx event in Lake County, on September 15. TEDx talks are organized events that host speakers to present on innovative ideas, research, stories or anything else that can promote either a change in ways of thinking or a call to action. These talks are videotaped and released on YouTube. Ashleigh was very excited to audition for this and she is super excited to have gotten selected. I hope you all can make it to this event to support Ashleigh and the work we do. Congrats Ashleigh!!

Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use.

Youth use of tobacco in any form is unsafe. If smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. That’s about 1 of every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger alive today. 
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a variety of brochures and fact sheets available for download:
Visit the NIH site to download materials

Discussion on maternal stress, mental health tonight.

Imagine a pregnant woman who is at risk for gestational diabetes or high blood pressure but is never screened or assessed for those dangerous conditions. 
Read the story on

Trump’s pick to run mental health is poised to shake things up.

Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz calls for a bold shift in priorities, away from support services and toward more aggressive treatment of psychiatric patients.
Click here to read the entire article.

I love my baby – so why am I so blue?

Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that occurs in nearly 15 percent of births and may begin shortly before or within a week to a month after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others. Only a health care provider can diagnose a woman with postpartum depression. If you or someone you know may be at risk of postpartum depression, you should contact a behavioral health professional. See the FCCMH website for a list of behavioral health organizations in Florida.
Watch the NIH video here

The Hidden Impact of Untreated Trauma.

Trauma is a near universal experience of individuals with behavioral health problems. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, 55% – 99% of women in substance use treatment and 85% – 95% of women in the public mental health system report a history of trauma, with the abuse most commonly having occurred in childhood.
Download the infographic here

Mental health training vital for UCF cops around final exams.

UCF police officers attended a series of refresher classes on dealing with those going through a crisis in preparation for final exams, which is when police respond to a heightened number of mental health calls. It was the first year the agency held the classes. 
Read the Orlando Sentinel story here

Mental Illness is More Prevalent than You May Realize.

In 2015, there were an estimated 43.4 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with mental illness* within the past year. This number represents 17.9% of all U.S. adults.
Click here to read the entire article.

Budget released.

Here is the 2017-2018 GAA, SB 2500. It will be voted out Monday, May 8th at approx.. 2:40 PM.
Download the document here

Mental Health Services for Children Drop, While Youth Baker Act Examinations Spike.

The number of children 0-5 receiving mental health treatment services has declined dramatically over the past 10 years, while the number of involuntary (Baker Act) examinations of children has doubled in the past 5 years.
Download the document here

Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2017 is on Thursday, May 4.

The national event will take place on Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m. EDT in Washington, DC. SAMHSA will also webcast the event. The 2017 national event will feature interactive panels.
For more information visit the website

Governor Scott directs statewide public health emergency for opioid epidemic.

From a press release earlier this morning.
Click here to read the entire article.


Circles of Care announces David Feldman as President/CEO.

David has previously served as Executive Vice President & Treasurer. He was named a FCCMH Fellow in 1979 and received the FCCMH Distinguished Service Award in 1988. Congratulations to David for his new duties with Circles of Care.

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety Class Held at the Flagler Emergency Operations Center.

"This training has been proven to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders, to make participants more knowledgeable about those disorders, and to increase the participant's comfort with approaching and assisting a person who is having a behavioral health crisis,” said Ivan Cosimi, CEO of SMA. “We are thrilled our community partners have joined
us in being better prepared to serve our community."
Download the news release here

Linda De Piano, PhD, Recognized for Behavioral Health Leadership.

On Friday, April 21st, Linda received the Bruce Rendina Professional Hero Award from the Palm Beach County Medical Society. She will also receive the Women in Leadership Award for the nonprofit sector from Executive Women of the Palm Beaches on May 11th.
Download the news release here

2017 Admin Forum agenda has been posted.

We are looking forward to a fabulous group of speakers and engaged conversations in Orlando next month!
Download the agenda here

Prince William and Lady Gaga have teamed up to tackle mental illness.

A great collaboration.
Watch the video on MIC here

We're facing a critical psychiatric shortage.

The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s mental health and addictions treatment organizations. In a recent report, their Medical Director Institute delved into how we can fix it:
Download the flyer here

FSU College of Medicine, Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Offering a new article "Tobacco and Your Business".
Click here to read the entire article

Two new resources aimed at improving community-based suicide prevention efforts nationwide

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) and its partners including the American Foundation for Suicide PreventionCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)—recently released the following downloadable resources:
Transforming Communities: Key Elements for Comprehensive Community-Based Suicide Prevention
Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices

Meridian Receives Award of Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management

Meridian Behavioral Healthcare inc., received the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Award of Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management for their Forensics program at the NatCon17 Gala.
Click here to read the news release

NAMI and Suicide Prevention at The Capitol

Working together to adequately fund the community behavioral health system of care in Florida while bringing awareness and acceptance of those effected.

Awakening of the Creative Mind: Healing and Recovery Through Creative Expression

Apalachee Center's annual art show is Friday, April 21nd, 2017 12:00pm-2:00pm.
Click here to read the flyer

Crisis center redo begins new CEO’s tenure at Centerstone of Florida

Melissa Larkin-Skinner began her new career as Centerstone of Florida’s new chief executive officer Wednesday by taking charge of a $3 million expansion of the Crisis Stabilization Center at Centerstone’s Behavioral Hospital & Addiction Center in Bradenton.
Click here to read the entire story on the Bradenton Herald website


Florida House panel proposes $622 million cut to hospital funding

From 2009-15, the Florida Legislature cut $100 million to mental health hospitals, ranking 49th out of 50 states for spending on mental health per patient in 2012, according to Kaiser Health News.
During the meeting Brodeur said the House was committed to reversing this trend.
"In addition to restructuring of hospital payments, I think the big story on this budget is how much we are doing for mental health," Brodeur said, but could not provide an overall figure Tuesday for how much the funding increased."
Click here to read the entire story on the Naples News website

Governor Scott proclaims Suicide Prevention Day for April 6, 2017

Join us in Tallahassee for this event.
Click here to read the proclaimation

Gainesville Sun Editorial: Make investment in mental health

Whether you're a fiscal conservative or bleeding-heart liberal, you shouldn't want jails and prisons to serve as a substitute for mental health facilities.
Programs that keep individuals with serious mental illnesses and addictions out of the criminal justice system are a much better investment. Treatment and services that help these individuals become productive community members are both more compassionate and less costly in the long run than repeat arrests and emergency room visits. Meridian Behavioral Healthcare's CEO Maggie Labarta is mentioned in the article.
Click here to read the Gainesville Sun article

Apalachee Center Opens Primary Care Clinic in Gadsden County

Apalachee Center is one of 24 grantees in the Southeast, and one of 12 in Florida awarded a 4-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Primary Care and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) Program to support and promote better primary care and behavioral health services for individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders in Gadsden County.
Click here to visit the Apalachee Center website

National Governors Association Opioid Road Map Executive Summary

The road map is the result of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
(NGA Center) Health Division and Homeland Security and Public Safety Division’s work on
prescription opioid misuse and heroin since 2012.
The road map is a tool to help states respond to the opioid crisis with effective health care and public safety strategies across the continuum from prevention and early identification to treatment and recovery.
Download the publication here


Florida's 2nd Annual Perinatal Mental Health Conference, April 8, 2017

This conference provides an opportunity for various stakeholders throughout Florida to exchange information, forge collaborations, and increase awareness around perinatal mental health issues. Medical and clinical providers, researchers, advocates and all professionals working with women and families are encouraged to attend.
Click here to download the conference flyer

Lakeview’s newest charitable venture

Making the Fox 13 news in Tampa! Serving those with behavioral health needs.
Watch the video here

The Peer Specialist Skills Discovery Conference May 8–10, 2017

This event is targeted for individuals working as Certified Recovery Peer Specialists, have received the CRPS training, or in the process of obtaining their certification to discover and learn new skills to enhance their ability to obtain employment in the mental health field. 
For more information on scholarship opportunities or how to register, please contact NAMI CLEAR Training Coordinator, Betsy Westuba,

You are invited to a double ribbon cutting celebration!

Gracepoint opens the Central Receiving Facilty for MH & SA.
Friday, March 3, 2017 @ 9:00am
2212 E Henry Ave., Tampa, FL 33610
For more information please contact: or call 813.239.8083

Meridian Behavioral Healthcare named in National Council's 2017 Awards of Excellence

Congratulations to Meridian Behavioral Healthcare for the selection as honoree of "Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management".

See more on the National Council's website


DCF releases the 2016 Annual Report of the Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council

This report provides an overview of 2014 national suicide statistics, 2015 state suicide statistics, and the activities in 2016 that support the strategic direction and goals in the State’s Suicide Prevention Plan.
Click here to download the report