Florida Behavioral Health Association Newsletter: November 2019

Message From the President

By Melanie Brown-Woofter, FBHA President/CEO

Melanie Brown-Woofter,
President and CEO, FBHA

When I take a moment to reflect on gratitude I realize how many things there are to be thankful for in my life and in my work. Like many of you, I am energized through our work in the non-profit world of behavioral health. Yes, there is still much to be done, but we have also accomplished many goals this year that advance the causes for better mental health and for better understanding of prevention, treatment, and recovery of substance use disorders.

I am surrounded by a talented and capable staff and together we serve you and the causes we all want to see championed through the legislature, the media, specific stakeholders, or the public. We are a force to be reckoned with, and for that I am thankful.

To say I am also thankful for your membership is an understatement; it is so much more than that. I am thankful for your passion, for your engagement, for your strength of character, and for your willingness to go the extra mile. I am thankful for who you are and for the relationships we have with each of you and your organizations.

May your holiday table bring you close to dear family, good friends, and all the people that give you great joy. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter and all our communications. Contact Melanie at Melanie@fccmh.org

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

New Medicaid Housing Assistance Pilot Program to Support Individuals with Serious Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

Read or Download Press Release Here

Melanie Brown-Woofter, President FBHA; AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew

The Florida Behavioral Health Association was pleased to recently stand with Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary (AHCA) Mary Mayhew as she announced the new Medicaid Housing Assistance Pilot Program. This new program received federal approval earlier this year and will begin operations in December. The pilot program will launch in Medicaid Regions 5 and 7 in the counties of Pinellas, Pasco, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, and Brevard

“Our community mental health and substance use disorder providers in the area are looking forward to working with AHCA and the participating health plans to provide housing assistance services to individuals with serious mental illness (SMI),” said FBHA President and CEO Melanie Brown-Woofter. “Individuals with SMI often find themselves homeless and without adequate resources to find even a temporary residence. This new housing assistance program will allow people enrolled in the program to have a better opportunity to find a place to call home.” Read More

Governor’s Budget Proposals Include $54 Million for Opioid Crisis and $17 Million in New Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Funding

Governor Ron DeSantis

Governor Ron DeSantis is recommending $54.8 million be used to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida. Part of that funding, a little over $12 million, will come from federal dollars in the form of the State Opioid Response Grant already targeted for evidence-based prevention, medication-assisted treatment, and recovery.

The Governor is also recommending an increase of over $17 million in new funding for behavioral health. A portion of the new dollars are allocated for the expansion of Community Action Teams (CATs) and the creation of nine new CATs in the following locations: Alachua, Citrus/Hernando, Polk/Highlands/Hardee, Orange, Walton, Brevard, Pasco, and Marion.

The Governor’s total budget recommendations are $91.4 billion. One of the most notable additions is an increase to teachers’ salaries with a cost of about $600 million.

View the full Bolder, Brighter, Better Future Budget here.

US Representatives Highlight Florida Program in Fight Against Opioids to HHS

By U.S. Congressman John Rutherford, from Rutherford Roundup 11/8

Read Full Letter and Signatures Here

Congressman John Rutherford

I recently led a letter with my colleague Rep. Charlie Crist to Health and Human Services (HHS) highlighting Florida’s leadership in combatting the opioid crisis. Our state-run wraparound programs provide education and funding for treatment services that have lowered opioid overdoses, relapses, and deaths. Because of this success, we are asking HHS to use our state’s innovative model as an example for fighting the opioid crisis throughout the U.S.

Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse Meeting

Task Force Chair Attorney General Ashley Moody

The second meeting of the statewide task force on opioid abuse met on Thursday, November 21 at St. Leo University. The task force is chaired by Attorney General Ashley Moody. Council members include DACCO CEO Mary Lynn Ulrey and FBHA President Melanie Brown-Woofter.

The overarching purpose of the task force, as defined by executive order, is to research and assess the nature of opioid drug abuse in Florida and develop a statewide strategy to identify best practices to combat the opioid epidemic through education, treatment, prevention, recovery and law enforcement.

Read More

A New Report is Showing a Relationship between Medicaid Expansion and Mortality Rates for Older Adults

Medicaid Expansion Report

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – a nonpartisan research and policy institute – released a report in early November linking mortality rates for older adults to whether or not their state of residence expanded Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. The study compares mortality rates among 55- to 64-year-olds likely eligible for Medicaid in expansion states to mortality rates among similar older adults in non-expansion states.

The group’s research shows states with Medicaid expansion saved 19,000 lives, while states opting out of the lower-income health program had premature deaths of over 15,000 older Americans. The report estimates that Florida had the second highest number of deaths in the study’s time span with a loss of 2,776 lives, second only to Texas. Read the Full Report Here

Download PDF of the Report Here

Study: Supervision of Peer Support Workers

Survey Link

Researchers in the University of South Florida’s Department of Psychiatry and at Magellan Health are conducting a survey that aims to investigate the backgrounds, training, and experiences of individuals who currently supervise at least one peer support worker in a behavioral health setting or agency.  According to the researchers, this will be the first comprehensive research study of the landscape of peer support supervision practices in the United States.

WHO: Researchers for the survey are seeking participants at least 18 years or older who work in the United States or US territories, and currently supervise at least one peer support worker. Read More

Organizational Member Showcase: Park Place Behavioral Health Care

By Jim Shanks, Pres./CEO, Park Place Behavioral Health Care

Park Place Behavioral Health Care

When another healthcare organization, or another member, thinks of Park Place Behavioral Health Care what do you want them to visualize?

Park Place Behavioral Health Care wants to be recognized as the premier provider of Behavioral Health Services for Osceola County.  We want individuals to recognize our commitment to those we serve. We understand that mental health and substance use issues impact all levels of our community and we accept the responsibility for providing needed services to all.   We have wrapped our arms around this community for the past 45 years and have held tight to those in need of services during times when funding has been available and when funding has been tight.

How has growth affected Park Place Behavioral Health Care over the years? 

Osceola County has been experiencing incredible growth over the past two decades, and has been identified as one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.  Park Place has worked to meet the demands that have come with this growth through staff development and program expansion.  We have expanded our Crisis Stabilization Unit for adults and children, creating a large, open, state-of-the-art space for those in need of crisis services. We have more than doubled our capacity in Substance Use Disorder services expanding the number of withdrawal management beds and those for short term residential.  

During Hurricane Maria, Osceola became a destination county for those from Puerto Rico, increasing the demands for services and. . . Read More

Member News, Awards, and Recognitions

The Child Guidance Center’s CAT Program Featured on Jacksonville News

By Action News Jax

Click Image to Watch Interview

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mental health issues are some of the most challenging a person can face.

It’s especially true in children.

Christopher, 13, knows that struggle.

The middle schooler from Jacksonville lives with depression and has had suicidal thoughts.

“A long time ago, I was doing many bad things, and I was trying to run away from the house, and I tried to hurt myself,” he said.

Chris and his mom, Justine, shared their personal story with Action News Jax, hoping other families will recognize they’re not alone and take the difficult first step to get help.

Justine was nervous about talking to us on camera, so she read aloud a letter she wrote to lawmakers, praising the Child Guidance Center and its Community Action Team Program for helping her family survive their crisis. Read More

Disc Village Expands Services into Rural Communities Through Grant

By Cristin Dobrowolski MS, LCSW, DISC Village Behavioral Health

DISC Village, Perry, Florida

DISC Village, Inc. is excited to announce the opening of our new Tri-County office located in Perry, FL. This new location will serve as host for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program grant recently awarded to DISC Village, Inc. by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). This exciting opportunity will allow DISC Village, Inc. to expand prevention, treatment, and recovery services to individuals and families throughout the Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor County communities.

For more information on services available in these counties please contact Lisa Hill, RCORP Project Director:

1012 South Jefferson Street
Perry, FL 32348
P | 850.223.1003
F | 850.223.0223

Regulatory Updates

The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA)

OPPAGA released their report regarding CSU bed payments that was mandated in the 2019 Appropriations Act Implementing bill November 1. The OPPAGA findings conclude that the state’s Acute Care Services Utilization (ACSU) Database cannot accurately report final payment sources or final amounts paid to providers and does not accurately represent actual bed utilization by payer source. The report indicates that due to duplication, missing data, and quality errors, the FASAMS ACSU results on bed days should be viewed cautiously.  The report also points out high utilization of crisis beds for state funded beds (97% to 99% DCF funded) in FY 2019/20, exemplifying the need for recurring, stable funding. 

Read the full OPPAGA Report

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission Report

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission released their state mandated 2nd report of findings and recommendations to a comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing issues presented by the tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission- within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement-was established during the 2018 legislative session. The Commission was formed to specifically analyze information from the school shooting and other mass violence incidents in the state and address recommendations and system improvements.

FBHA staff overview of the full report as it relates to the mental health allocation, mental health services for children, threat assessment teams and juvenile detention may be read here.

Read the full Commission Report

Grant and Funding Opportunities

SAMHSA Grant Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care

Deadline: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care (PIPBHC) grants. The purpose of this program is to: (1) promote full integration and collaboration in clinical practice between primary and behavioral healthcare; (2) support the improvement of integrated care models for primary care and behavioral health care to improve the overall… Go to Full Grant on SAMHSA

SAMHSA Grant Supporting Recovery Community Services Program

Deadline: Monday, December 23, 2019

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 Recovery Community Services Program (RCSP) grants. The purpose of this program is to provide peer recovery support services via recovery community organizations to individuals with substance use disorders or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders or those in recovery from these disorders. Go to Full Grant on SAMHSA

Webinars and Workshops

Presented by DCF and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association

Webinar: Mental Health, Substance Misuse, and Suicide: Shared Risk and Protective Factors

This webinar will provide education on the links between substance use, mental health, and suicidal thoughts and attempts. Also, participants will gain knowledge and resources on protective factors to reduce risk. read more

Register Here for Mental Health, Substance Misuse, and Suicide: Shared Risk and Protective Factors Webinar

When:Tuesday, December 3, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where:United States
Presenter:Hannah Rose
Contact:Marc Weeks
(850) 878-2196

Webinar: Trauma-Informed Clinical Supervision

Clinical Supervisors will understand the importance of transparency in the supervisory relationship and be able to identify what they need to Keep, Change, Start and Stop in their current practice to increase supervisee professional development and clinical outcomes.

Register Here for Trauma-Informed Clinical Supervision Webinar

When:Wednesday, December 11, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
United States
Presenter:Elizabeth Guroff, MA, LCMFT; Director, Trauma Informed Services
Contact:Marc Weeks
(850) 878-2196

Events and Meetings

Florida Public Mental Health Forum

Florida Public Mental Health Forum
December 5, 2019
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Forum on how Florida Communities can advocate for better mental health.

Visit the website here

2020 Florida Taking Action for Suicide Prevention 5th Annual Conference

Februry 25–26, 2020
Tallahassee, FL

Download the flyer for the event here
Read more about the conference here

Florida Behavioral Health Association Advocacy/Services Board Meetings

December 12–13, 2019

Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista South
4955 Kyngs Heath Rd. | Kissimmee, FL 34746
Rate: $140

Book your hotel here

December 12th, 9:00am – 4:30pm
General FBHA membership meeting and Division Meetings

December 13th, 8:30am – 12:00pm
FBHA/FCBH/FADAA Board Meetings for Organizational Members

NATCon 2020

APRIL 5–7, 2020
Austin, TX

Register for the event here
Read more about the conference here

Strategic Board/Planning Meeting 2020

May 11-13, St. Augustine, Florida

Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort

300 A1A Beach Boulevard | St Augustine, Florida, 32080

Administrators Forum 2020

2020 Administrators Forum

May 20 and 21

Florida Mall Hotel and Conference Center

1500 Sand Lake Road | Orlando, FL 32809

Florida Behavioral Health Conference 2020

Save the Dates! August 19-21, 2020

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane | Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 597-3600