About the Institute

History of the Institute

Louis de la Parte

Louis de la Parte

In 1967, the Florida Legislature provided funding to construct a mental health facility on approximately 43 acres of the University of South Florida campus in Tampa. The Institute was originally conceived as a regional facility that would complement the state hospitals and community mental health centers and reported to the state's Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS). Two years later, Photo of Louis de la Parte Louis A. De la Parte announced the expansion of the Institute's role by designating it as a provider of outpatient services for individuals who could not afford treatment. By 1974, FMHI provided inpatient and outpatient care, partial hospitalization, emergency care, community consultation and education, and clinical and diagnostic services.

In 1981, the Florida legislature transferred FMHI from HRS to the University of South Florida to enhance the Institute's research capacity and educational functions. Six years later, the Institute was recognized as an academic college within the University and Dr. Max Dertke was appointed as its first Dean. The Institute was named after Louis A. de la Parte in 1996 in recognition of his lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life for Florida's citizens and for his support for mental health services.

Today, the Institute continues its mission to strengthen mental health services throughout the state. At the state level, the Institute works closely with the Departments of Children and Families (DCF), Corrections (DOC), Education (DOE), Elder Affairs (DOEA), Juvenile Justice (JJ), and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). FMHI faculty consult with members of the State Legislature as well with providers of behavioral health services throughout Florida. Recommendations from the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, led and staffed by Institute faculty, have guided policy discussions and improved legislative action regarding public services in Florida.

FMHI has emerged as a national leader in behavioral health research. The Institute houses several state andnational research and training centers focused on improving practices in treating mental, addictive, and developmental disorders. In addition, FMHI faculty were among a select group of scholars contributing to the President's Commission on Mental Health. The Commission's work resulted in a new national strategy to improve mental health systems in the United States.

As an academic unit of the University of South Florida, FMHI is expanding its educational offerings for students. The Institute currently offers an undergraduate minor, B.S. specialization, graduate certificate, and master's and doctoral specializations. Internship, and Post Doctoral Fellowship programs are also offered.