The Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse held their first in-person, two-day, quarterly meeting at the University of South Florida in the Marshall Student Center. Kathleen Moore, PhD, a research professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, is a member of the commission.
As required by 394.9086, F.S., the Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse was established in 2021 by the Florida Legislature to examine the current methods of providing mental health and substance abuse services in the state and to improve the effectiveness of current practices, procedures, programs, and initiatives in providing such services; identify any barriers or deficiencies in the delivery of such services; and recommend changes to existing laws, rules, and policies necessary to implement the Commission’s recommendations.
During the first day, key stakeholders in the state of Florida spoke on behavioral health issues such as behavioral health and community behavioral health systems of care, forensic diversion, behavioral health responses within emergency services and law enforcement, legal aspects of data sharing, and supportive employment and housing. During the second day, the four subcommittees – Data Analysis, Business Operations, Criminal Justice, and Financial Subcommittees – presented on their individual report progress and proposed recommendations.
Public comment was also held at the end of each session, which allowed community members to share their experiences and thank the commission for their continued efforts focused on improving the behavioral health system.