substance abuse

A doctor is sharing health information with their patient / Unsplash

Bay County health officials are inviting the public to a meeting Thursday to discuss ways to better identify and address area residents’ health needs.

DXR via wikimedia commons

Florida House lawmakers are checking in on a 2016 measure meant to improve mental health and addiction treatment.

Sarah Mueller

Florida’s universities say they need more money to hire additional mental health counselors and law enforcement officers. University officials said they’re seeing a dramatic rise in students needing help coping with anxiety, depression and academic stress.

Changes to how Florida regulates the private system of addiction treatment in the state could help stop patient abuse and exploitation. That’s the conclusion of newly released report by the Sober Home Task Force.

Florida Senate

The newest chairman of the committee that looks at children and elder affair issues is outlining some of his top priorities for the 2017 legislative session.

Healthy Families Florida Facebook page

In the last year, there were nearly 200,000 child abuse, neglect, or abandonment investigations in Florida. One organization aims to help parents and others involved with children not only identify potential risk factors, but also give them the tools to avoid such behaviors.

People seeking help for mental disorders or substance abuse now have more options. 

Rosalind Tompkins' twitter

A local non-profit organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a three-day event, starting Friday. The goal of “Mothers In Crisis” is to help women with substance abuse issues.

Now that the Governor’s signed it, a bill reforming mental health within Florida’s criminal justice system will become law in a few months. Some advocates say it’s been years in the making.

The federal government says non-Medicaid expansion states could be doing more to help people with substance abuse and mental health disorders. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 300,000 uninsured Floridians with such disorders could be treated if Florida expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Alex Proimos/ flickr /

Since the 1970s, the hard on crime ethos has fueled the era of mass incarceration. Simultaneously, the country defunded public mental health services. A ballooning criminal justice system came in to fill that vacuum. Now the Florida Legislature is poised to reform the way mental illness is handled in that system.

Florida Senate

Florida lawmakers want to reform the way the state deals with substance abuse and mental health issues. One legislator hopes her recent appointment to an advisory council will help with that effort.

MGN Online

While some are hailing the Governor’s recent pledge to put more money into Florida’s mental health and substance abuse programs, others are calling it “long overdue.”

Florida Channel

Among the more than 40 bills Governor Rick Scott signed into law Thursday is a measure building on past child welfare reforms.

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.