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Our hearts are with the students, families, teachers, friends and neighbors whose lives have been affected by the recent tragic events at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. ALL of Florida's community behavioral health centers are available to support those who are grappling with grief and confusion over this incomprehensible tragedy.

We are especially thankful for our colleagues at Henderson Behavioral Healthcare, who did not hesitate in their response to help victims, families and friends cope with the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The professional staff at Henderson Behavioral Healthcare will continue to provide services and support as needed.

We want to thank the leadership of the Senate and the House and Governor Scott for recognizing the importance of access to mental health services by pledging additional resources for mental health services and school safety. 

The Florida Council strongly supports efforts to strengthen collaboration between local school systems and local, nationally accredited community mental health centers that provide a full continuum of services for all ages. These collaborations allow community-serving systems with shared priorities to leverage their respective resources to improve the overall health and well-being of students, families and communities.

Florida’s Community Mental Health Centers provide a vital behavioral health safety net for communities. Our centers stand ready to help you.

Emergency crisis and grief mental health services for victims and families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting.

Henderson Behavioral Health is providing emergency and immediate crisis mental health services as a result of the tragic incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Anyone who needs help can call their Crisis Hotline at 954-463-0911. Crisis and grief counseling location information is available at the Henderson website below. 

Visit the Henderson website.


In the News

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 artcile on the Ledger's website 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

The either-or debate over mental health and gun violence

FCCMH member Steven Ronik, CEO of Henderson Behavioral Health has written an article which appeared in the online version of the Sun Sentinel.

Now, in our backyard, we have experienced the second-worst school shooting in American history.
So we look for answers. Any answers. Hopefully a simple answer. But the answer is both simple and it’s not. The continuing and polarizing debate that seeks to attribute gun violence to either mental health conditions or access to guns is not an either-or argument. It’s both-and, but at the same time it’s much more attributable to one area than the other.
Read the article in it's entirety here.


The Power of Pets - Health Benefits of Human-Animal Interactions

Nothing compares to the joy of coming home to a loyal companion. The unconditional love of a pet can do more than keep you company. Pets may also decrease stress, improve heart health, and even help children with their emotional and social skills.
Read the article on the NIH website.

Child Abuse Prevention Research Symposium

April 26 & 27, 2018 | The Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center, Tallahassee
The Florida Institute for Child Welfare is proud to partner with the FSU College of Social Work and the Florida Mental Health Institute to host a research symposium on child abuse prevention.
Attendance is free but registration is required. Space is limited. Registration opens February 26, 2018.
For additional information or to register click here.

Florida Medicaid Health Care Alert - All Substance Use Disorder Treatment Options and Prevention

Governor Rick Scott has declared the opioid epidemic a state of emergency in Florida (see Executive Order 17-146).  In response to the opioid crisis, the Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) is implementing provisions under the Florida Medicaid program to assist in the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. 

Medication-assisted treatment combines behavioral health therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders. Florida Medicaid covers an array of behavioral health therapies and prescribed drugs (e.g., Naltrexone, Buprenorphine, Methadone, etc.) to treat substance use disorders and does not limit the length of time recipients may receive treatment.
Review more information here.

Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Primary Care Practices released by The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Mental Health Program (WICHE MHP) and Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

First developed in 2009, the toolkit has been updated to align with Zero Suicide, a nationally recognized framework for providing safer and more comprehensive suicide care in health and behavioral health care settings. Toolkit hard copies, pocket guides, orientation, and training are available by contacting WICHE MHP at 303-541-0311 or mentalhealthmail@wiche.edu.
Review more information here.

FIU-BRIDGE and FIU Herbert Wertheim College of  Medicine invites you to participate in a JOB FAIR

May 18th, 2018, 10:00am-12:00pm, FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus
To register please contact Dr. Aniuska Luna PhD, at aniluna@fiu.edu or (305) 348-9076 by May 4th, 2018. There is no cost for employers to participate.
Download the flyer here.

January 2018 OPPAGA report

A January 2018 OPPAGA report found that while Medicaid Program Integrity continues to identify and collect overpayments to fee-for-service providers, its data analytics vendor did not perform as expected and the contract was not renewed. The Agency for Health Care Administration could further improve its program integrity efforts by establishing evaluation criteria and performance measures. MPI’s review of managed care plans does not include performance standards.
Read the story here.

Florida Department of Children and Familes Suicide Coordinating Council Report

Read the story here.

Study of first-graders shows fetal alcohol spectrum disorders prevalent in U.S. communities

Read the story on the NIH website here.

The Zero Suicide webinar titled "Improving Care for Homeless Patients at Risk for Suicide" is now available on the Zero Suicide website​

Visit the website here.

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