TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Florida Association of Managing Entities CEO Natalie K. Kelly applauds the Legislature for prioritizing behavioral health services and encourages legislators to support the House of Representatives’ recommendation to allocate additional recurring funds to the Managing Entities to expand behavioral health services in accordance with the triennial needs assessment.

“Every three years, the Managing Entities conduct an extensive needs assessment of behavioral health services in communities throughout Florida and provide this assessment to the Department of Children and Families. We implore legislators to expand behavioral health services and to support the House’s recommendation to allocate $150 million in recurring funds to the Managing Entities to meet identified needs in communities.

“Behavioral health needs aren’t limited to treatment and counseling, but they also address housing, transportation and employment assistance. All of these needs help people live life to their fullest potential. 

“By having Florida’s seven Managing Entities manage the funding, local needs are met with precision, as needs can vary throughout the state.”

Florida’s seven 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.

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.