WUFT News

Legislature to evaluate mental health spending

By on January 29th, 2013

Florida legislators will be taking a more comprehensive look at the state’s mental health system, which is ranked 49th in the country in per capita spending.

Since 2007, mental health spending for the Department of Children and Families has dropped by $67 million to $726 million, according to the Florida Times-Union.

Bob Sharpe, president and CEO of Florida Council for Community Mental Health, said the state does a better job funding care for physical health conditions than for behavioral conditions.

“Some of that can be accounted for by stigma,” Sharpe said. “Some of it is that people don’t believe that the conditions are brain disorders or that we have proven treatment techniques for them.”

Florida’s mental health spending is about $39 per citizen per year, Sharpe said. He said funding for a more comprehensive behavioral health system could be accomplished if mental health issues were treated and funded like other diseases.

Recent incidents, such as the shooting at Sandy Hook, have brought attention to the topic of mental health.

“The difference is that periodically there are events that prompt the general public and policymakers to talk about the issues more than they would normally,” Sharpe said. “Sandy Hook is one of those incidents.”

Sharpe said he has been consistently lobbying the Legislature to reform the current state of the mental health system. He said that Florida must implement a mental health first aid program just as Arizona did after the Tucson shooting in January 2011.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time advocating for changes and improvements,” Sharpe said. “Hopefully this year will be unlike others we’ve had in the past.”

Mike Llerena wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

State rankings based on efforts to prevent drunk driving. The ratings are given on a five-star scale.

Florida Given Four Out Of Five Stars For Efforts In Preventing Drunken Driving

Florida received a four out of five-star rating for its efforts to prevent drunk driving. Florida’s current ignition-interlock statutes is the only factor keeping Florida from a five-star rating.


Guns

Bill To Allow Guns On Florida Campuses Passes First Hurdle

A bill that would let students carry guns on university campuses is moving through the Legislature two months after a shooter wounded three people at a Florida State University library.


B7ue4wNIAAA5twE

MLK Day Celebration Presents Scholarship, Honors Gainesville Community Leader

Monday morning, people gathered around Martin Luther King Jr.’s memorial statue downtown to see Vivian Haynes inducted into the MLK Commission of Florida’s Hall of Fame.


Gainesville residents Quintyra White (left) shares her first kiss with wife LaKindra Ellis-White on Tuesday, Jan. 6 outside the Alachua County Courthouse.

Gay Marriage Ban Ends As Couples Wed Throughout Florida

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage ended statewide at the stroke of midnight Monday, and court clerks in some counties wasted no time, issuing marriage licenses and performing weddings for same-sex couples in the early morning hours. […]


Tis the Season to Give, But Floridians Are Largely Scrooges With Their Time

While volunteerism rates in Florida may still be ranked relatively low, people like Bill and Verna Brown try to change that by gathering food and help by giving it out to the rural areas in North Central Florida.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments