Tallahassee, FL - In the first day of the 2022 Legislative Session, Florida’s lawmakers will discuss a senate bill on how sufficient the state’s suicide prevention systems are, and how to fund them.
The bill—Senate Bill 478—was filed by Senator Jason Brodeur (R-Lake Mary). It aims to assess the current infrastructure of Florida’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), on top of the state’s other behavioral health crisis services.
This will be done through a study conducted by the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention, which is a part of the state Department of Children and Families (DCF). The study will also help the state figure out how to provide appropriate funding for these programs.
Besides looking at the overall infrastructure of the NSPL, the study will have to analyze other crisis response services available throughout Florida, including services offered by mobile response teams and facilities.
That information will have to include the geographic area and total population served by each team, the number of calls they receive, and any calls they were unable to respond to. Additionally, the study will have to include proposed strategies on how to improve the links between the NSPL and crisis services throughout Florida.
The DCF will also be tasked with finding available mental health block grant funds that can be used to support these services, which includes any available funding through opioid settlements or the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Agency for Health Care Administration will also be tasked with looking for funding sources available through Medicaid.
According to the bill, the study will have to be completed by July 1, 2023, with results submitted to the senate president, Speaker of the House, or any committees and chairs that have jurisdiction over the state’s behavioral health care services. If passed, the bill will be effective July 1, 2022.
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