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Florida Gets a D For Mental Health Programs

March 11th, 2009 by flanews

Florida leaders are calling for improvements to the state’s mental health system after receiving low marks from a national advocacy groups.

A report card released today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness gives Florida a ‘D’ for the treatment of mental health patients. Advocates say Florida is spending too much money locking up the mentally ill and not enough money providing treatment. Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon said the state is wasting money locking up mental health patients.

A quarter of a billion dollars we’re spending on deep-end beds at a 140,000 dollars a bed is insane. We can’t do that. But if we can take 10 or 12,000 dollars to provide that person treatment in the community, it makes sense. As our budgets start to get more and more tight, it’s the practical thing to do,” said Sheldon.

Mental health advocates and Secretary Sheldon are supporting legislation that would use money from the criminal justice budget to create more community based care programs.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Health, State Budget, State News | No Comments »

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