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The number one priority for the Florida Council for Community Mental Health and its member organizations is to ensure that Floridians have access to a comprehensive and effective system of coordinated mental health and substance abuse treatment services.
Our member organizations are located throughout the state and offer a wide array of treatments and supportive services tailored to meet individual and family needs. In addition to more traditional mental health and substance abuse services and interventions, Council members assist individuals and families in addressing the social determinants of health, such as: adequate health care, affordable housing, job training and employment, food insecurity, peer support, mentoring and other supports needed to achieve sustained health and recovery.
Treatments and supportive services are provided in a variety of locations, including: Community Mental Health Centers, substance use disorder rehabilitation programs, inpatient treatment programs, community health centers, mutual support groups and peer-run organizations, schools, jails and prisons, and at home through telehealth or home-based services.
Mental health has been defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”; however, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration estimates that only about 17% of U.S adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health. The Florida Council for Community Mental Health is committed to addressing that gap by providing effective, high quality behavioral health services and supports so that more Floridians can achieve a state of optimal overall health.


In the News

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools

SAMHSA is excited to share the Suicide Prevention Resource Center's release of the second edition of After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools, which assists schools in implementing a coordinated response to the suicide death of a student. Developed in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Preventionand in consultation with other national experts, this toolkit includes new information and tools that middle and high schools can use to help the school community cope and reduce suicide risk.
Click here to visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.


The fabulous staff at the David Lawrence Center, our President Melanie Brown Woofter, LifeStream Behavioral Center President Jon Cherry, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare President Dr. Maggie Labarta, and David Lawrence Center President Scott Burgess.

Council members working hard in DC for Florida's behavioral health community. #NatCon2018
Left to right: Melanie Brown Woofter, Dr. Maggie Labarta, Congressman Daniel Webster (District 7) and Jon Cherry.

Congressman Vern Buchanan says these are seven ways to attack opioid epidemic

With the backing of local sheriffs, mental health professionals and two mothers who lost their sons to the opioid epidemic, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan has introduced a seven-part bill to tackle the opioid epidemic from multiple angles. Centerstone CEO Melissa Larkin-Skinner praised Buchanan's efforts, saying he is at the "forefront of the fight."
Read the article on the Bradenton Herald website here.

May is Maternal Mental Health Month
April 30 - May 6 is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week​

TheBlueDotProject will host the U.S.'s week long social media campaign Monday, April 30 through Friday, May 6 which will include World MMH Day on May 2nd. 
Visit the website here.

Pinwheels for Prevention

The Florida Council for Community Mental Health is partnering with the Florida Ounce of Prevention in the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign to draw attention to the importance of ensuring that all children have equal opportunity for healthy growth and development. Florida Council member organizations dedicate themselves to that work every day by providing therapeutic services and supports to individuals and families throughout Florida to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

For more information about the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida and the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, click here.

NIH HEAL Initiative to Stem Opioid Epidemic

In April 2018, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. The HEAL Initiative will bolster research across NIH to prevent addiction through enhanced pain management and improve treatments for opioid misuse disorder and addiction.
Read the story on the NIH website here.

Mental-health counselors twice advised against committing Nikolas Cruz before school shooting

Washington Post article on understanding the Baker Act and the positive outcomes associated with it.
Read the article on the Washington Post website here.

Gov. Scott Directs DCF to Enhance Collaboration with Local Law Enforcement in Each Florida County

Today, Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 18-81 directing the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to enhance collaboration with law enforcement offices in each Florida county to improve the coordination of behavioral health services for individuals in need.
Read the press release here.
Read the executive order here.

Sponsor and Exhibitor Sneak Peek!

Take a look at the marketing opportunities offered for this years conference.
Download the 2018 BHCon Marketing Prospectus here.

SAVE THE DATE  The 2018 Florida Blue Foundation Community Health Symposium and Sapphire Awards

May 3-4, 2018 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida
Review the press release here.

One state forces opiod abusers to get help. Will others follow?

Gracepoint central receiving center in Tampa, Florida, is a secure facility where police can take people in crisis because of a mental health condition or drugs and alcohol. In many parts of the country, first responders have few options when it comes to finding follow-up care for people who have been rescued from a drug overdose.
Read the article on the PEW website here.

Peace River chief speaks about Polk’s mental health services

Bill Gardam speaks with Marilyn Meyer from the Ledger.
Read the article on the Ledger's website here.
Download the 03/11/18 article here.
Download the 03/19/18 article here.

2017-2018 Florida Best Practice Psychotherapeutic Medication Guidelines for Adults now available!

The Florida Medicaid Drug Therapy Management Program for Behavioral Health at the University of South Florida have made the guidelines is available on the program’s website.
Each of the 2015 best practice guidelines for major mental health disorders – Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder – have been updated based on comprehensive literature review, presentation by national experts, and consensus of the Florida expert panel. The complete set of updated adult guidelines features boxed DSM 5 criteria, principles of practice for antipsychotic therapy, and a new guideline on the treatment of schizophrenia with long-acting antipsychotic medications.
Download the updated adult guidelines here.
Download the pharmacological update here.
For more information about the guidelines or resources available through this program please contact the program’s Principal Investigator, Marie McPherson.
Email her here.
The Agency contact for information about the Florida Medicaid Drug Therapy Management Program for Behavioral Health is Mary Beth Jones.
Email her here.

HRSA Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair

The US Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) is hosting a Virtual Job Fair for behavioral health professionals on April 11. Over 100 organizations recruiting for 1,000+ behavioral health vacancies will be online to describe their clinical environments, the populations they serve, and the rewards of providing care in their communities. 

Participation is free and Employers can show off their organization in a dedicated “virtual breakout room” and “meet” with candidates to discuss employment opportunities.
Click on this link for more information.

Overdose deaths increased by 39.4 percent in Florida from July 2016 to July 2017.

But even as more states saw a drop in deaths, several saw death spikes of more than 30 percent, most likely due to the increasing presence of the deadly synthetic drug fentanyl in the illicit drug supply, drug experts say. Those are Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with the District of Columbia.
Download the graphic here.
Read the article here.

New FSU student-run council starts mental health dialogue with "Remove the Mask"

The function of the campaign goal is to create dialogue about mental health and ultimately create an FSU community where the stigma around mental health is removed through messaging and programming.
Read the article on the FSUNews site here


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