Hello my name is Karl Wiggins and I am the former pastor at Fort Caroline United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. I am passionate about mental health care access in our city because every day, I see the effects of people not having the treatment they need to get through the day.
- Florida is ranked 49 of the 50 states for per capita funding for mental health care
- $93 million of public funding is allocated for substance abuse and mental health care providers in Northeast Florida
- The waiting list to see mental health professionals at publicly funded treatment centers is directly linked to the limited amount of clinical providers for indigent populations in the city. There are approximately 480 people on the waitlist at Northwest Behavior Services every year. Most of these people are waiting to see the one part-time psychiatrist contracted there.
- In Duval County, 90% of public funding goes towards crisis situations vs. 10% allocated to preventative and ongoing mental health care treatment.
- For every dollar spent on crisis care, 99 cents would have been saved if that person had preventative mental health care (Mental Health America)
What we Won
- ICARE’s action led to the use of components of the Open Access Model, designed to decrease and eventually eliminate the long waiting lists for mental services at Jacksonville’s four publicly funded mental health clinics. All four mental health facilities have begun implementation of this service model. At the Mental Health Resource Center, 50 more people a month are accessing mental health services because of this program.