Hope for Healing Florida mental health, substance abuse plan unveiled

Florida first lady Casey DeSantis announced multi-agency plan Thursday

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A new, multi-agency mental health and substance abuse campaign called Hope for Healing was kicked off Thursday in Florida with an announcement by first lady Casey DeSantis.

The 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 to better serve the needs of Floridians struggling with mental health and substance abuse.

The campaign's website, HopeforHealingFL.com, is aimed at consolidating information for better accessibility to all Floridians.

“Hope for Healing Florida is an initiative about helping good people in crisis by leveraging the resources of our state agencies, private partners and our administration,” said DeSantis. “Helping our youth and families avert drug addiction and address mental health issues will help them reach their full potential and lead healthier lives. And this is just step one.”

“Today marks the start of a new norm. With the establishment of forward-thinking laws and meaningful partnerships, we are creating a statewide culture that is instinctively supportive and laser-focused on recovery,” said Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “Our state’s education system is vital to identifying youth who are struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. We provide critical training that empowers school personnel to connect them and their families with mental health assistance. We are continuing to strengthen these efforts, and we thank the Legislature for prioritizing this issue.”

“Mental health continues to be a silent issue that affects all ages – adults and our youth,” said Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Simone Marstiller. “It is critical that we bring awareness to the available resources for mental health and substance abuse services to ensure treatment is provided early. Mental health is as important as physical health, and with the right treatment, challenges can be overcome.”