mental health

Bay County Jail

The Bay County Jail is experiencing a mental health crisis, leaving resources stretched thin and funds low.  The Bay County Sheriffs office is asking the county for an extra $430,000 to hire nine additional officers, but the mental health crisis in Bay County is not an isolated problem.

Apalachee Center administration building
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

The state of Florida says it will ask a judge to throw out a lawsuit alleging Floridians with mental illness are kept isolated from society. The disability-rights advocacy group that filed the suit says the state needs to do more to get people out of mental hospitals.

Florida Supportive Housing Coalition President Shannon Nazworth summarizes the lawsuit like this: “People who want to leave and are ready to leave and are capable of leaving the institutions are being basically forced to remain because there is no community-based care to serve them.”

Florida Department of Children and Families

A disability-rights organization has filed a federal lawsuit alleging Florida improperly "warehouses" people with mental illnesses in its psychiatric institutions. Disability Rights Florida is calling for the state to be forced to provide treatment services for some mentally ill people within the patients’ communities. 

Governor Rick Scott Vetoes Mental Health Bill

Jun 13, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill Wednesday aimed at improving mental health care in the judicial system.  The bill would have simplified and streamlined the transfer process between different facilities. 

Scott, however, objected to a different provision in the bill that would have placed a three year limit on rehabilitation before the accused could stand trial.

A new study concludes, Florida taxpayers will be footing the bill for mentally ill patients after the Legislature rejected Medicaid expansion under the Federal healthcare reform law. Medicaid expansion would have covered treatment for Floridians living with mental illness.

Tens of millions of federal Medicaid dollars would have covered Floridians, a move Gov. Scott supported but the Legislature rejected this year.

Judy Evans, Florida director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said, hundreds of thousands of uninsured Floridians have mental illnesses.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

Tuesday was annual Suicide Prevention Day at the Florida Capitol. It’s when advocates knock on legislators’ doors and talk about how they’d like laws to change to try and save lives.

For many of Florida’s suicide prevention advocates, the fight is personal. Betsy Westuba, regional director of the Suicide Prevention Coalition in the Tampa area, said, “And it’s not an easy journey, but I’m doing it because I lost my own brother and an uncle to this terrible, terrible devastation.”

People who run Florida mental-health and substance-abuse-treatment programs are celebrating the highest proposed state funding they’ve seen in five years. Advocates from several of these groups were at the Capitol on Tuesday to thank lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott for recognizing the importance of community-based behavioral health programs.

Two years ago, Katherine Johnson was living on the streets in Jacksonville.

 Since he was elected two years ago Rick Scott has adjusted to life in the public eye. What started as a tense relationship with the media has become more relaxed and Scott has even reached out to some of his most vocal critics-- teachers and their union. But as Lynn Hatter reports, as Scott gears up for his re-election bid, a new poll shows his efforts at appealing to the masses isn’t working. But his wife, Ann Scott may help give him a boost.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

A group of young people in Tallahassee are working toward opening a nonprofit mental health center. They’re calling it The Outlet, and they say the community support for their vision has been overwhelming. 

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