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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute

Message from the Interim Executive Director

I am pleased to report another successful year for the members of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. Each year, faculty and staff from the Department of Child & Family Studies (CFS) and Department of Mental Health Law & Policy (MHLP) received numerous contracts and grants that support FMHI's legislated mission to improve behavioral health services through research, training, service, and education. In fiscal year 2012-2013, these two departments brought in $20.3 million in new awards. In addition, this year we identified an interesting new statistic: since 2007, over $78 million in federal and private grants were awarded to state and local agencies in which FMHI collaborated or even led the grant writing process. This is important given that there are many federal grants for which only a state agency, court system, county, or local service agency is eligible to receive the funding. Members of FMHI participated as grant writers, planners, or consultants, to contribute to the success of our state and local partners. Examples of Florida's successes involving such FMHI contributions included:

  • A $9 million SAMHSA grant received by the Northeast Florida Children's Mental Health Coalition for "The Kids 'N Care Project."
  • A $8.6 million grant awarded to Florida Department of Education through Florida Positive Behavior Support Program.
  • $15 million in funding for DCF, the Florida Association of Counties, Partners in Crisis and Florida Council for Community Mental Health for jail diversion and re-entry programs in Florida.
  • A $14 million SAMHSA SBIRT grant (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) awarded to the Florida Department of Children and Families to fund the Florida BRITE Project (BRief Intervention & Treatment for Elders) in 18 counties, across 75 sites.
  • Almost $6 million for evaluation of drug courts in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties
  • Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) received federal "draw down" funds of $10.6 million for Medicaid studies led by FMHI.

Several new academic programs began during fiscal year 2012/2013. Of particular note were the following additions:

  • The Behavioral Healthcare Major was formally established in 2012 and hosted a graduation celebration for the inaugural class on May 1, 2013. Students in this new major learn about evidence based treatment approaches, organization, financing, delivery, and outcomes of behavioral health services. Graduates are better prepared to work in the behavioral healthcare field or advance to graduate programs in related fields.
  • The Applied Behavior Analysis Ph.D. program admitted its first cohort of doctoral students. Each year, five students with a master's degree in ABA will be accepted for the 54-credit hour program.
  • The 2013 Summer Research Institute at FMHI (SRI@FMHI) funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, admitted 12 undergraduates from programs within and outside of Florida to participate in the ten-week summer program. SRI@FMHI is designed for students interested in building their research skills within the context of mental health to help them prepare for a Senior Thesis and/or graduate school. The next cohort will be admitted for May 29 through August 6, 2014.

Planning is currently underway for an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. Over the next few months, we will announce the date for 40th anniversary celebration in which we honor individuals who have made major contributions to the behavioral health field. At the same time, we plan to roll out themes for FMHI’s future in research, training, education, and service, with the expectation that we can begin to recruit a permanent director and create an endowment campaign to fulfill our mission.

To learn more about these accomplishments and talented people, I invite you to visit the home pages of CFS and MHLP, and look through their newsletters and updates such as CFS' Impact, MHLP's publications and training opportunities.

Larry Schonfeld, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, FMHI