COVID-19, Mental Wellness

Mental Health Residential Facilities Should be Prioritized for COVID-19 Vaccine

Behavioral Health Workers, High Risk Patients and Congregate-Living Residential Facilities for Behavioral Health Treatment Should Receive the Same Priority for COVID-19 Vaccine as all other Medical Workers, Patients and Congregate Living Facilities

Florida Association of Managing Entities Asks Governor DeSantis to Prioritize Mental Health Residential Facilities for COVID-19 Vaccine

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Association of Managing Entities is urging Governor Ron DeSantis to extend COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to mental health residential facilities’ residents and staff. In a letter sent to the Governor, FAME emphasized that the residents and staff live in congregate settings, similar to nursing homes, and many patients have underlying medical conditions. They asked for the State to assist with the coordination of onsite vaccination clinics at these facilities.

“We’re asking Governor DeSantis to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to residents and staff of Florida’s mental health residential facilities,” said Natalie K. Kelly, CEO of the Florida Association of Managing Entities. “Governor DeSantis has been a leader in prioritizing behavioral health care services, and we hope that he makes the COVID-19 vaccine available to this group of people as the state continues its vaccine rollout.”

To read the full letter, click here.

Florida’s seven local Managing Entities, including Thriving Mind South Florida, work with a network of over 300 behavioral health care providers who deliver services to over 320,000 of Florida’s most vulnerable residents, including children, expectant mothers, veterans, and the chronically homeless.

Providers meet patients’ diverse needs with “wraparound services” that not only address mental health issues and substance abuse, but also assist with housing, transportation, and employment. Managing Entity community boards administer, manage, and ensure accountability of state and federal funds for behavioral health services, keeping oversight and accountability closest to the people they serve.

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About the Florida Association of Managing Entities

The Florida Association of Managing Entities (FAME) is the statewide organization representing Florida’s seven Managing Entities. FAME’s mission is to advance the behavioral health recovery of individuals and their families in the state of Florida.