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mental health

State higher education officials directed Florida's public universities to hire more mental health counselors to meet growing student demand — and asked a Florida Atlantic University administrator to help them keep track of the progress.

Senate Bill Sheds Some Light On Maternal Mental Health

Jan 30, 2018

For many parents, no stone is left unturned when preparing to have a child. There are books, classes, and blogs to prepare both mother and father for almost anything.  But, there is an often overlooked condition mothers may have once their child is born, and a bill in the Florida Senate looks to shed some light on this.

President Donald Trump’s mental fitness has been called into question ever since he announced his candidacy. Partially based on early morning Twitter tirades, people on the internet have assigned various mental illnesses to the president; from mood disorders to personality disorders. The trend causes discomfort for those living with mental illness and the people who treat them. 


During a routine visit at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Dr. Ajoy Kumar was going over blood test results with a 46-year-old patient named Paul.

Florida universities don’t always have the resources to help students with mental illnesses. Addressing mental health issues is a serious problem faced by institutions. They are expected to play a central role in identifying symptoms and helping individuals succeed. WFSU spoke to a student who feels her university offered support during a difficult time. 

This month’s mass shooting at a Texas church has raised questions of whether the military does enough to help former service members with bad conduct discharges. They're not eligible for veterans' mental health care.  

In a new report, Florida gets a middle of the pack ranking overall for mental health when compared to other states and Washington D.C.. But when it comes to access to medical professionals, Florida ranks near the bottom.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Hurricane Irma has passed, and some Floridians impacted by the storm have to rebuild – not only their homes, but their lives.

When a natural disaster as unpredictable as Irma hits, the main concern is getting people to a safe place and making sure they have enough resources to manage through the storm. However, once the immediate danger has passed, the next step is to recover and move forward.

The Mental Health Impact Of Major Disasters Like Harvey And Irma

Sep 12, 2017

When major disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit, the first priority is to keep people safe. This process can involve dramatic evacuations, rescues and searches.

As Hurricane Irma works its way to Florida's coast, feelings of stress and anxiety may also be brewing for those anticipating its effects.

A national hotline wants to help you.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline is available for immediate counseling to anyone affected by the impending hurricane and storms in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

When Florida lawmakers approved a last-minute budget in special session earlier this year, $20.4 million in federal funding for mental health services expired with no plans to make up for it.

Now, mental health and substance abuse facilities across the state are looking at slashing services—sometimes in half—because of the surprise de-funding.

VA.gov / Department of Veterans Affairs

This week the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded emergency mental health care to vets with other-than-honorable discharges. It's part of an effort to curb the recent increase in veteran suicide.


The U.S. has seen an increased rate of suicide among its veterans, and those deaths can change the lives of family and friends forever. This week on Florida Matters, our special two-part program on veteran suicide and the impact it can have on comrades and loved ones continues.


Our country asks a lot of its military members, most recently during the many years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. The multiple deployments during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn have taken their toll, in part, through an increased risk in suicide, especially among young male veterans.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The Department of Veterans Affairs has grown increasingly concerned about the rise in veteran suicides in recent years.

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the impact these deaths have on comrades and loved ones, and what support is available to help them heal. It's the first episode in a special two-part program on this issue.


After the Pulse nightclub shooting, mental health organizations mobilized to provide counseling.

The Mental Health Association of Central Florida used a grant to create a new program to help people affected by the shooting with free mental health counseling. Now, they’re looking for funding to keep operating. 

Florida’s universities say they need more money to hire additional mental health counselors and law enforcement officers. University officials said they’re seeing a dramatic rise in students needing help coping with anxiety, depression and academic stress.

Saint Petersburg Rep. Kathleen Peters has filed legislation to increase mental health treatment. It adds certain mental health and substance abuse services to the state’s Medicaid program through a safety network.

Florida families are calling on the state to fully fund mental health services. Social service agencies say the lack of funding for mental health care and substance abuse means more people incarcerated or living on the streets.

When children and teenagers survive gun violence it can have an impact on their mental health.

In a series that started this week, Health News Florida partner station WLRN is exploring what the trauma of shootings can do to the mental health of children and families.

The number of children taken into protective custody for mental health examinations has surged across the state.

The newest chairman of the committee that looks at children and elder affair issues is outlining some of his top priorities for the 2017 legislative session.

Florida prison officials say they’re looking to enhance the mental health treatment of inmates—particularly in the Panhandle. But, they need to hire more than 100 employees to meet that goal. Kim Banks is the Chief Financial Officer for the Florida Department of Corrections.

Mental Health At Core Of Florida Bar Admission Case

Nov 15, 2016

A board that oversees admissions to The Florida Bar is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an attorney who alleges he has faced unfair scrutiny because he is a recovering alcoholic who suffers from depression.

Governor Signs Mental-Health Reform Bill

May 25, 2016

Governor Rick Scott highlighted a mental-health reform bill at a ceremonial signing in Miami on Tuesday.

Scott Signs Treatment, Military Bills

Apr 18, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed two bills that are expected to help people get mental-health or substance-abuse treatment and make it easier for military personnel from Florida to vote. Scott also vetoed a controversial overhaul of alimony laws (SB 668).

Mental Health Reform Effort Heads To Scott

Apr 5, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott will have 15 days to take action on a bill (SB 12) that would make wide-ranging changes in the state's mental-health and substance-abuse treatment systems.

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that supporters said will help the court system address issues with criminal defendants who have mental illnesses.

Judge: Mental Health Court Bills Promising

Mar 22, 2016

Miami Judge Steve Leifman, a widely recognized authority on substance-abuse and mental-health issues in the criminal-justice system, closely watched two reform bills that passed the Legislature last week.

Mental Health, Substance Abuse Reforms Get Approval

Mar 14, 2016

In the waning hours of the 2016 legislative session, Florida lawmakers Friday approved wide-ranging reforms to the state's mental-health and substance-abuse treatment systems.

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