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States Respond to COVID-19: Fla. Uses CARES Funds for Mental Health Services

On Dec. 11, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced $23 million in funding for mental health services in the state.

The funding was allocated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and will reinforce mental health support and allow the Department of Children and Families to continue providing mental health and substance abuse treatment for Floridians in need.

The governor noted the pandemic has adversely affected the mental health of Floridians, as many struggle with social isolation, anxiety, and substance use disorders. About $18 million of the funds will go to community-based services and bolster state initiatives to serve an additional 300 adults and 375 youth with severe mental illness needing crisis intervention.

Further, the state is working to secure previously awarded grant money for peer-to-peer counseling services for Florida’s first responders.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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