TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Coming on the heels of the passage of Senate Bill 282, which has been sent to Governor DeSantis and will bolster Florida’s peer specialist system, the Legislature today continued its momentum to enhance behavioral health in Florida with passage of SB 1262 and SB 1844. Florida Association of Managing Entities CEO Natalie K. Kelly released the following statement:

“We are so grateful to the entire Florida Legislature for their support of significant legislation that will enhance the behavioral health system in Florida. Three key pieces of legislation will transform how Florida delivers behavioral health services.

“Thanks to the Legislature, peer specialists, who can use their own experiences to help others in mental health and substance use disorder recovery, have a more streamlined and simplified process to becoming one through the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist program.

“With the passage of Senate Bill 1262, families will now have an easier time accessing emergency behavioral health services, which can change the outcome of an emergency situation with the provision of early care. 

“Also, Senate Bill 1844 goes a long way toward destigmatizing mental health care for children by eliminating the court process, among other provisions. 

Florida’s seven local Managing Entities work with a network of almost 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.

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About the Florida Association of Managing Entities

The Florida Association of Managing Entities (FAME) is the statewide organization representing Florida’s seven Managing Entities. FAME’s mission is to advance the behavioral health recovery of individuals and their families in the state of Florida. For more information, visit FLManagingEntities.com