March 16, 2017

Friday Editorial: Florida lawmakers must change their shameful attitude toward funding mental health care [Florida Times Union]

This post was last updated on September 10, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.
On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

On March 16, 2017, the Times-Union Editorial Board ran a piece on the Sunshine State’s dismal ranking on mental health investment. From “Friday Editorial: Florida lawmakers must change their shameful attitude toward funding mental health care”:

Florida is the worst state in the Union to be mentally ill.

Neglect of our mentally ill residents has always been appalling. But now Florida has sunk to a new low, ranking dead last among the 50 states in the per capita amount it spends on mental health care.

The Sunshine State has been ranked 49th for many years, but the latest release of the charts shows that Florida has fallen further still. The rankings, put out by the Florida Policy Institute, are based on figures supplied by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

They show that Florida spends $36.05 per capita for the support of its mentally ill residents.

The national average is $125.90 per capita.


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