Mental illness affects one in 20 Americans.

Florida ranks 49th in per capital mental health spending and 35th in per capita substance abuse spending.

One of every eight Americans has a significant problem with alcohol or drugs, with 40% of those having a concurrent mental/nervous disorder.

It costs four times as much to incarcerate a mentally ill inmate as it does a general-population inmate.

One dollar invested in treatment for alcohol and other drug problems saves taxpayers $7.14 in future costs for a cost-benefit ratio of 7:1.

For more than four decades, the Florida Council for Community Mental Health, Inc. has actively served Florida’s not-for-profit community mental health and substance abuse services agencies to address the above issues to advocate for funding, policy and legislation to increase the awareness of needs throughout Florida for behavioral health. The Council has 50+ member agencies, ranging from small specialty organizations to comprehensive treatment organizations with multiple locations throughout a region that all receive the same benefits. The purpose of the Council includes promoting the welfare of persons with behavioral disorders and those needing behavioral health care services by:

  • Advocating, initiating and supporting action designed to continually improve the quality of alcohol abuse, drug abuse and mental health services.
  • Encouraging the development and maintenance of the highest professional standards among all service providers.
  • Encouraging, promoting and supporting the continuous development of quality professional staff.
  • Providing members with a forum for the exchanging information, ideas, problems and solutions.
  • Promoting the cooperation of its members with other persons and organizations engaged in related activities.
  • Developing, maintaining and strengthening the affiliated network of provider members.
  • Serving as a catalyst to member agencies to assist people with mental illnesses and/or addiction disorders and agency staff in the event of natural disasters to assure continuity of care for mental health, alcohol abuse and drug abuse treatment, rehabilitation and/or prevention services.

Council governance

The business affairs of the Council are managed by a Board of Directors elected by organizational member agency’s chief executive officer or equivalent or designee.

The Council’s standing committees serve as vehicles for members to address issues such as policy, standards of care and practice, legislation, funding, public relations and advocacy. These committees offer an opportunity for members to jointly develop solutions to common problems, as well as to contribute to innovation in service delivery.

Education, training and technical assistance

Providing low-cost education and training for members is a major Council role. An extensive agenda of workshops is presented each year at the Council's annual conference to assist agencies in meeting the continuing education needs of professional staff. Periodic one to two-day workshops and/or informational meetings are scheduled throughout the year to address other training needs identified by members.

Through telephone consultation and/or on-site visits, highly trained and skilled Council staff offers specialized information and technical assistance to member agencies. FCCMH staff members have expertise in various areas, such as Medicaid policy, evaluation and research, managed care and media relations. These staff members are available to help members cut through the red tape and resolve problems, as well as to support members in the day-to-day operations of their organizations. The Council also frequently contracts with specialty consultants to help meet training or technical assistance needs identified by members.

Effective communications

Council publications inform members of new developments in the behavioral health care field, relevant legislation, state agency regulatory actions and other timely issues. These publications include the Quarterly Florida Council Newsletter and the FCCMH Bill Track which is published during each legislative session to keep members abreast of progress on relevant bills. The Council’s web site at helps keep members informed of policy developments, other news and events. It also serves as a portal to information about member agencies for the general public. Additionally informal communication is provided via email to keep members up to date on the ever changing news in legislative, policy and regulations.

Council offices

The Council’s office is located in the historic Lewis House, at 316 E. Park Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301-1514. The staff can be reached by telephone at 850-224-6048.

Please contact Kendra Salvatore, Director of Member Services at for more information regarding membership and the application process.