TAMPA, Fla.-The Central Florida Behavioral Health Network convenes Pasco and Hillsborough counties’ school districts to coordinate mental health services for children and families within the school districts.
Coordinating mental health services within schools is key to giving behavioral health experts the access they need to support children and their families with mental health services, while taking mental health services off of teachers’ plates. This model could serve as a model for the State of Florida.
“The partnership with Central Florida Behavioral Health Network has been invaluable to Hillsborough County Public Schools. Thousands of students and families have received mental health support and the impact has been felt across schools and the community. We have been able to establish therapists at over 100 schools across the district and coordinate mental health services for students in the most appropriate setting. We continue to work with Central Florida Behavioral Health Network to create innovative ways to provide interventions in a timely and cost-effective way to individuals, seeking to break down barriers to treatment while reducing the stigma surrounding mental health,” said Hillsborough County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Van Ayres.
“Today we have 22 providers coordinating behavioral health systems of care in Pasco and Hillsborough schools, providing much-needed services to children and their families. Our providers work with children to maximize their potential in schools, so schools can focus on teaching, not addressing mental health issues,” said Central Florida Behavioral Health Network CEO Alan Davidson.
The Central Florida Behavioral Health Network is one of the state’s seven Behavioral Health Managing Entities. Florida’s local Managing Entities work with a network of over 300 behavioral health care providers who deliver services to over 300,000 of Florida’s most vulnerable residents, including children, expectant mothers, veterans, and the chronically homeless. Additionally, the system provides nearly 1.7 million Floridians with preventative services and reaches hundreds of thousands more through indirect preventative services, such as education initiatives.
Providers meet patients’ diverse needs with “wraparound services” that not only address mental health issues and substance abuse, but also assist with housing, transportation, and employment. Community boards administer, manage, and ensure accountability of state and federal funds for behavioral health services, keeping oversight and accountability closest to the people they serve.