FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2020
Florida Association of Managing Entities Praises First Lady DeSantis for $5.2 Million to Support Mental Health and Other Services in Northwest Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s behavioral health safety net system, made up of seven Managing Entities that oversee more than 300 behavioral health care providers statewide, today praised First Lady Casey DeSantis for her announcement that $5.2 million will be directed to residents in Northwest Florida, a region that is still recovering from Hurricane Michael, to support, among other things, mental health screening and evaluation services for children, families and teachers–regardless of whether they are insured.
“On behalf of Florida’s behavioral health safety net system, we thank First Lady DeSantis for continuing to prioritize behavioral health services,” said Natalie Kelly, CEO of the Florida Association of Managing Entities. “No one can thrive in a classroom or at work without first taking care of their mental health, and this funding will go a long way in helping those who have suffered the trauma of living in a hurricane-ravaged area get back on their feet.”
The Florida Association of Managing Entities has been a vocal supporter of telehealth services during the pandemic in order to provide essential substance abuse and mental health services to Floridians who need them now more than ever. The association recently released data showing that nearly 1 in 3 patients in Florida’s behavioral health safety net system used telehealth services amid the COVID-19 crisis.
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.
The Florida Association of Managing Entities (FAME) represents Florida’s seven managing entities. Managing entities are local, not-for-profit businesses with community boards that administer, manage and ensure accountability of state and federal funds for Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) services.