Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Facing liability, Broward changes course on helping homeless in mental health court

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

By Noreen Marcus
Brandishing research into federal law won Broward County Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren what she wants: a unified approach to sheltering homeless people who appear in her mental health court.
The post Facing liability, Broward changes course on helping homeless in mental health court appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Broward Outreach shelter yanks welcome mat for mental health court referrals

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

By Noreen Marcus
When homeless people turn up in Broward County’s mental health court, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren does everything she can to keep them out of jail. One of the court’s few options was sending them to a Broward Outreach Center homeless shelter. But earlier this month, days after BOC told the judge it would no longer accept her referrals, she had visions of rootless, disturbed people being forced to grapple alone with a tough, lottery-like system to apply for a bed.
The post Broward Outreach shelter yanks welcome mat for mental health court referrals appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Legislative coalition urges leaders to find money for mental health programs

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

A bipartisan coalition of House members and senators endorsed Gov. Rick Scott’s request to increase mental health funding by $25 million, but said even more money is needed to move Florida out of the basement in funding for treatment.
“At the end of the day, we’re 49th (in funding among the states), which means we’ve neglected this for far too long,” Sen. Rene Garcia said.
“This has to be a priority,” he said. “It’s costing us way too much money by not funding the system. It’s a matter of educating legislators, educating the leadership, and putting the pressure on to ensure that we get that money.”
“This is the biggest crisis in this country,” Rep. Kathleen Peters said.
“Mental illness and addiction are consuming resources out of every system in government at every level in government,” she said.
“It is the No. 1 reason that health care costs are rising. It is the No. 1 thing consuming all of the resources of our court system, our jail and prison systems, of our law enforcement system. It is the No. 1 reason children are taken away from their families and put into DCF.”
Also attending the news conference were Republican House member Mike Miller and Democrats Carlos Smith and Katie Edwards. Republican Victor Torres was there, too.
Last year, the Legislature pumped an additional $63 million into mental health services, Peters said. It also passed SB 12, which coordinated involuntary commitment programs for people with mental and addiction problems, and required counties to coordinate services by local agencies.
She hopes to find money to attract a substantial federal match for services, she said.
“It’s going to take money. It’s going to take effort. It’s going to take a lot of the conversations we’re going to have on the floor during the next 58 days,” Miller said.
Alisa LaPolt, executive director of

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Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio applaud NIH funding bill passage; Moffitt money preserved

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Florida’s Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson both applauded passage Wednesday by the U.S. Senate of a bill that heads off potential cuts in cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The Senate approved H.R. 34, entitled the “21st Century Cures Act,” by a 94-5 vote Wednesday. It was approved by the House of Representatives earlier.
“This bill makes a lot of improvements to our nation’s medical research programs, but the most important thing it provides is hope – hope for patients affected by thousands of diseases, hope for people battling mental illness, and hope for families scarred by the ravages of opioid addiction,” Rubio stated in a news release issued by his office. “This legislation combines some of the best ideas for advancing medical treatment and research, speeding up the development of life-saving drugs, and reforming our mental health system. It also funds the fight against the heroin epidemic and overdoses sweeping through far too many communities in Florida and around the country.”
The bill provides the National Institutes of Health an additional $4.8 billion over the next ten years.
“This funding will help us retain some of the nation’s best and brightest medical researchers and allow them to continue working on several important projects such as cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s,” Nelson stated in a news release from his office.
The post Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio applaud NIH funding bill passage; Moffitt money preserved appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, I-4, Sanford Burnham, water quality, Pulse, on Central Florida lawmakers’ minds

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

As they prepare for the 2017 Legislative Session, Central Florida lawmakers are looking out for help for the emerging Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Osceola County, the demise of the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Lake Nona, and I-4 throughout the region.
Those are things almost everyone in Central Florida’s delegation is examining. The Democrats add, don’t forget about Pulse, and the economic fairness and mental health issues everyone spoke of during the election campaigns this year.
But it’s a session with new rules, especially in the House, perhaps limiting how lawmakers go about securing money for pet projects.
And with the retirements of Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Central Florida has no direct leadership this year, but lawmakers are expressing confidence they’ll make up for it.
And it’s early; a lot of local requests and legislative strategies still are being formulated.
“A lot of things are still coming in,” said state Rep. Jason Brodeur, a Republican from Sanford.
Showing up on almost everybody’s list for likely legislative attention is the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Kissimmee, a project to develop high-tech jobs in the quietly massive electronic sensor industry, through the Belgian-based International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research and the University of Central Florida. Its first phase is to open next spring, and plans are for it to grow to the point of providing thousands of jobs in an area dominated by the low-wage hospitality region.
“It diversifies the workforce by bringing in an industry that currently doesn’t exist, high-tech sensor research,” said state Rep. Mike La Rosa, the Republican from St. Cloud whose district comes close to the center. “I believe it’s the government’s role to create the infrastructure and environment and allow businesses to come in and compete, and this is truly an opportunity for that.”
And Democratic

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In legislative session, Linda Stewart wants to focus on bills for the environment, mental health

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Linda Stewart is headed to the state Senate this week for District 13, and her agenda going forward is mostly focused on liberal issues like the environment – but she also wants to do something to curb gun violence, even if only by tackling the mental health aspect.
Talking to Sunday, Stewart said some of her first priorities in terms of passing bills would be to protect the environment by conserving quality water and stopping fracking.
“I don’t think an unelected body should be making decisions to increase carcinology allowed in our water supply,” she said, “as it happened over the summer. I want to restrict that from happening. The Benzine was increased significantly more than even the federal government approved.”
She said she was also against fracking, and hoped to come up with a consensus bill with other legislators to help curb it.
Another priority, she said, was helping the mentally unstable.
“We are 49th in the nation on mental health,” she said. “With the tragedy at Pulse, we need to identify those who are mentally unstable and get them into treatment centers before they take the actions like they have taken.”
Then she added: “I’d like to see a gun regulation bill go forward, but I’m not sure what the appetite is for that.”
Stewart isn’t expecting to be fazed by much of the experiences to come in the Senate, what with her experience in the House and in local government.
“I’ve been around for 10 years,” she said. “I’m a consensus builder. I’ve worked bipartisan my entire life. Some of these things are not partisan – they’re just not. I’m hoping to explain why. The battle of minds will probably be over on the House side – I don’t expect the Senate to have as many issues.”
The post In legislative session, Linda Stewart wants

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Beth Tuura, Mike Miller battle over guns, Medicaid, business incentives

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Republican state Rep. Mike Miller and his House District 47 Democratic challenger Beth Tuura punctuated an otherwise friendly debate with some sharp jabs over guns, Medicaid expansion, and business incentives Monday in Orlando.
At a debate hosted by the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida, Miller began on the hot seat, with a question about whether he broke a campaign promise when he said during his 2014 campaign that he would support the $51 billion Medicaid expansion, and then he didn’t do so. He argued Tuesday he did not break any promises. He said during the campaign he also expressed that he feared there were strings attached and had concerns about longterm uncertainties about federal funding. He added that once he got to Tallahassee and learned more, he felt he couldn’t put Florida at risk.
“I found out when I was in the Legislature, Medicaid — health care — is 34 percent of our budget. We have a constitutional priority to balance our budget. So with 34 percent of it increasingly, increasingly going toward health care, we should probably take that money if we’re going to have that cost,” Miller said. “The problem is, that’s not guaranteed money. We’re relying on the federal government to send that money to us. And if you watch Paul Ryan or anyone in the Republican leadership, they don’t want to send money down to the states. They’re trying to cut that Medicaid money off.
“I feel, and it’s my drive in the Legislature, to work toward alternatives, to bring the cost of health care down for everybody. Not just poor people. … We do help poor people,” he said. “We do not let anybody go without health care.”
Tuura said it was a broken promise, and she vowed to support accepting the federal Medicaid expansion program.
“When I go door to door and I

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Dr. Marc J. Yacht: Our country’s shameful legacy of poverty

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Poverty’s narrow definition relates to income and consumption but a much broader meaning is necessary to understand America’s poor. Federal guidelines qualify individuals and families by addressing income, but don’t provide an accurate depiction of needy families and their living conditions.
The better understanding of the poor must look beyond income and at the larger community: the quality of education, water, electricity, pollution, sewage systems, and residential living conditions. Do after school activities exist for children? Are there parks, community centers, local libraries, street gangs, drug abuse, and violence both domestic and crime-related? Poor neighborhoods are at greater risk for substandard living conditions and all play a role in defining the broader conception of poverty.
There is a need to look the behavioral and health aspects along with literacy rates, sociopathic behavior, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and a host of psychiatric disorders. The overall health and nutritional well-being are affected by inadequate health care and neglected resources to poor families. Are basic living requirements met? The ability of the disenfranchised to do things of intrinsic worth, their isolation, joblessness, homelessness, and concerns for safety expand the narrow definition of poverty.
Collective anger expressed by the poor affects the affluent. Riots and dissatisfaction are triggered by any number of events most likely occurring in poor neighborhoods but can relate to crime and violence in any neighborhood.  Poverty is not just about money but the overall quality of life that poor people experience. Vented anger and destructive behavior are too often expressed by the communities’ poor, often by young people who have little difficulty expressing frustration. Their crimes relate directly to gross neglect.
Protests had been relatively dormant since the 1960s, but within the past decade protests and urban revolts have been making a comeback. According to a research brief, between 1958 and 1968, 329 urban rebellions

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Melissa Ross: I can’t remember his name …

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Honestly, the main thing I can remember was the color of the news car. It was burgundy, inside and out. Merlot. When we heard the shots, we jumped inside and sped off. I threw my purse onto the floor and it stood out against the winy carpet. Then it pressed onto the simple two-way radios news cars used to have. That meant other crews in the field probably heard our conversation.
“Did you hear that?”
“Jesus, what was that?”
“Are you OK?”
It was 1988 (I think). WHIO-TV, Dayton, Ohio. Saturday night, maybe 10 o’clock. Some live shot we were setting up  to cover a fire or shooting. Just another local news story.
It was my first job out of college. I was part time, green as hell, thought I knew everything. I’m sure every shooter in the place (that’s what news photographers are called most of the time) hated having to go on stories with me.
We weren’t ever in any real danger, just shook up. Freaked out. Just a weekend news shift for the B team.
I was 22.
After that, it was WKYT in Lexington, WLWT in Cincinnati, CLTV in Chicago, WOFL in Orlando, First Coast News in Jacksonville. Twenty years of TV news. Thousands of live shots, packages, newscasts anchored. There was the time I pulled up to a shooting on Chicago’s West Side and saw brains on the sidewalk. They were gray, like you’d expect. Gooey.
Each station I worked at must have had about two dozen shooters. Eventually, you stay somewhere long enough, you work with them all. They are the best people you will ever know. Cynical, funny, workhorses, to a man (and a few women). I have, conservatively, shot stories of all kinds with, it’s got to be, about 200 news photographers. They taught me how to edit, how to write,

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