Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis kicks off major anti-substance abuse effort

by | May 20, 2019

A new multi-agency mental health and substance abuse campaign launched last week with First Lady Casey DeSantis front-and-center, announcing the establishment of Hope for Healing Florida. According to a release from the Governor’s office, “this coordinated effort will incorporate the combined resources of the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the Florida Department of Education” and is designed to help Floridians cope with mental health and substance abuse.

The effort drew praise inside and outside state government, including Florida’s leading behavioral health advocacy group, One Behavioral Health Association.

“I’m thrilled by the commitment to this issue that the Governor and First Lady continue to demonstrate,” said Melanie Brown-Woofter, President of Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association. “Tackling big problems requires big thinking, and it’s clear that this administration is making big strides. Sharing information and resources across key state agencies and improving cooperation between the public and private sector will help communities identify, assess and care for individuals and families in crisis. I have great hope for what we can accomplish together in the next few years.”

The Hope for Healing Florida campaign will also leverage, in part, the resources of private sector partners to produce and distribute Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Guides throughout the state at no cost to taxpayers. Guides will include information on state partnered programs from crisis intervention to prevention, to on-going care to help support children and families suffering in Florida by providing meaningful help in a timely fashion that meets their needs.

First Lady DeSantis also announced the official launch of the campaign’s website, HopeforHealingFL.com, aimed at consolidating information for better accessibility to all Floridians.

“I would like to thank the First Lady for her leadership in placing Floridians’ mental health at the forefront of our administration,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This program will be a catalyst of change to address the mental health and substance abuse challenges facing our youth and our families. Casey’s resolve has always been to protect those most vulnerable, and today, she’s taking action to do so through Hope for Healing Florida.”




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