August 19, 2022

Funding for Behavioral Health Services in Florida: Frequently Asked Questions

For years, state funding of behavioral health services has not kept pace with Florida’s population growth and needs. Notably, Mental Health of America has ranked Florida 48th in the nation on access to mental health care.

Florida’s low ranking, in part, is based on pre-pandemic 2018-19 data that shows:

  • More than a half million (512,000) adults with mental illness were uninsured.
  • Twenty-two percent of adults with mental illness (643,000) were unable to get needed treatment over the course of the prior year.
  • More than two-thirds of youths with major depression (117,0000) could not get treatment.

During the pandemic, other research shows:

  • Over 7,500 Floridians died in 2020 from opioid overdoses, an increase of 37 percent from 2019. 
  • Nearly one-third of Florida adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder from September 29 to October 11, 2021.
  • Over 35,000 Florida children and youth were subject to involuntary emergency behavioral health examinations initiated under the Baker Act in 2020. 

Below is a snapshot of current Florida funding for behavioral health services.

Citations/endnotes are included in print version of fact sheet.

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