Throughout 2021, Florida announced several new measures to support mental wellness and provide resources for Floridians struggling with substance use.
The 2021-2022 budget included significant funding toward these life-changing behavioral health services:
- $158.4 million for the State Opioid Response Grant, which addresses the nationwide opioid epidemic and provides access to treatment for those struggling with opioid abuse;
- $120 million for the Mental Health Assistance Allocation to support school mental health programs, an increase of $20 million;
- $1.4 million to provide behavioral health services for those rebuilding from Hurricane Michael; and
- $3 million to allow Florida’s 211 provider network to expand mental health support.
The Hope for Healing website was also expanded to make it easier for Floridians to access help for mental health and substance abuse. The updated Hope for Healing website includes resources from several state agencies, including the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Health. For more information about Hope for Healing, visit www.hopeforhealingfl.com.
Following the tragic Surfside Building Collapse, organizations at the state, local, federal and non-profit level partnered to launch Surfside Strength, a webpage to support families and first responders and help them receive much-needed emotional support. Governor DeSantis and his wife Casey met with many of the impacted families to offer any support they could and expressed appreciation to the first responders who performed rescue operations 24 hours a day for 29 days.
In December, Florida announced $12 million to expand peer-to-peer mental health services available for first responders through DCF. First Lady DeSantis made the announcement at the Tampa Firefighters Museum while highlighting providers in the Tampa Bay Area who are already engaging in the peer-to-peer model of support. In addition to expanding peer-to-peer services, DCF has launched the First Responder Resiliency resource page, which directs first responders to available resources and gives organizations access to the application to apply for funding.
Ask us if we can offer any direction in accessing these important resources. We are available at firstname.lastname@example.org and 1 (888) 400-3201.
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