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FL Universities Seek Funding For Mental Health Care

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mental health care fundingMental health care is an often overlooked component to general well being, and some Florida colleges are trying to change that.

Funding Mental Health Care

Florida universities seek funding for mental health counseling

The Palm Beach Post recently reported that Florida universities are seeking an additional $14.5 million in the coming year to staff their mental health care facilities for students, as the volume of care needed has risen dramatically.

In the 2013-14 school year, there were 4,200 students admitted for mental health counseling for emergency or crisis visits, which included symptoms of anxiety and depression, including panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Of them, 300 needed to be involuntarily hospitalized under the Baker Act. This influx represents a 48% increase in volume compared to previous years.

In a report obtained by the Palm Beach Post, Christy England, associate vice chancellor for academic research and policy said that college counseling centers provide very important services, and that addressing mental and behavioral health “has never been more critical.”

The overwhelming number of students in need of counseling inevitably means that those seeking care are wait-listed.

Ernesto Escoto, a licensed psychologist and director of University of Florida’s counseling center in Gainesville, told the Palm Beach Post that the additional funding would mean fewer people waiting for the care they need.

“My hope is then that we won’t have a wait list anymore,” Escoto said. “We will be able to provide care immediately to students and help them be successful in their studies and complete their education in a timely manner.”

Mental health and substance abuse

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) produced a study in 2014 (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) that showed an estimated 43.6 million American adults (aged 18+) experienced some form of mental illness. That’s 18.1% of the U.S. population. In the past year, 20.2 million adults had a substance use disorder. And, 7.9 million had both.

Due to the complexity of symptoms, accurately diagnosing co-occurring disorders (someone who is simultaneously struggling with a substance abuse disorder and a mental/behavioral health problem) can be challenging. Treating both problems with appropriate emphasis on each is critical to providing the right kind of care and preventing relapse.

As the numbers indicate, those suffering from co-occurring disorders, sometimes called “dual diagnosis,” are not alone in their needs. The Watershed has a team of medical specialists who are trained in both substance abuse rehab and behavioral health treatments. No matter what challenges you are currently facing with substance abuse or mental health, our caring compassionate staff can offer the right diagnosis and personalized treatment approach that supports recovery for both disorders. We’d be happy to talk to you more about how we can help. Call us any time at 1-800-861-1768.




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