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TaxWatch finds mental health providers doing a good job and need more money

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A Florida TaxWatch study finds the state’s network of nonprofit mental health providers is doing such a good job it deserves more money.

Florida provides substance abuse and other services to the uninsured through seven regional Behavioral Health Managing Entities. The network enables services to be tailored to the community needs. TaxWatch found the model does lower costs, increased accountability and is an efficient use of tax dollars.

“It is critical that our state’s mental health dollars are spent most efficiently to provide care to those who need it most and our state’s Behavioral Health Managing Entities are helping to do that, even with minimal funding,” said TaxWatch CEO Dominic Calabro.

The study also noted that the network suffers from underfunding. Florida ranks 49th in the nation for per capita mental health expenditures and recommends an increase in funding.

Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner seconded the call for more mental health money in next year’s state budget.

“We have to take a look at all those people on the streets, we got this big homeless population and a lot of these people mentally ill and need attention,” said Joyner on Thursday.

“We need additional funding; there are so many people incarcerated because they are mentally ill who need to be in a facility that deals with their specific malady.”

 The Tax Watch analysis of Florida’s Behavioral Health Managing Entity network is here.

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