Report of the Adult Workgroup of the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse

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The Adult Workgroup was established to review and make recommendations to the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse regarding mental health and substance abuse (MHSA) services for adults in the state of Florida. The Adult Workgroup membership is described in Appendix 1. The Commission and this workgroup are charged with examining issues affecting the health of Floridians as these issues relate to both mental health and substance abuse service delivery in the state of Florida, and then providing recommendations to the legislature to improve the current system of care. In fulfilling this charge, the Commission and this workgroup have chosen to consider issues as they pertain to all Floridians with MHSA problems, rather than just focusing on the services paid for by the Department of Children and Families, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program Offices or the Agency for Health Care Administration. These services are provided to a much smaller group of persons who tend to experience the most severe MHSA disorders. Some reasons for taking a broad focus include - a) it puts historical decisions concerning funding of public sector services in their full context and allows a better perspective on evaluating those decisions, b) it allows more opportunities for improving the health and reducing suffering for all Florida citizens, and c) changes to one part of the system (public vs. private sectors) are likely to have effects on other parts of the system.