September 21, 2020

Florida Association of Managing Entities Praises First Lady DeSantis for Focus on Behavioral Health Care Services

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 continued focus on behavioral health care services, as evidenced by her roundtable discussion today on telehealth services in schools.

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.

“First Lady DeSantis has proven, time and again, that she is deeply committed to helping Florida find solutions that work for residents with behavioral concerns. She has been a true champion for those whose voice is too often overlooked,” said Natalie Kelly, CEO of the Florida Association of Managing Entities. “Telehealth is one way to reach more people who need behavioral health services by removing obstacles, such as transportation issues, and this additional funding that will be directed to Florida’s rural counties will go a long way in helping Floridians lead healthier, more productive lives.”

The data, which was collected by the Managing Entities from over 300 mental health providers across the state, shows Floridians’ growing reliance on this important health care option, which is authorized only temporarily by the state at this time.

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.