Capitol NAGs By Gayle Giese
On January 23-24, the South Florida NAMI Advocacy Group (NAGs) headed to Tallahassee to convince,
advocate, educate, and nag our legislators to increase funding for mental health services, including
supportive housing, in Broward County. Donna Linn, Linda Gutierrez, Richard Horner, and I met with 12
Representatives or Senators, or their aides.
Funding for mental health services has been severely cut over the last nine years, and funding for FACT
teams (Florida Assertive Community Treatment) has not increased in 20 years! Starting in 2009, Florida
cut $100 million from the six Florida state hospitals, and $385 million from mental health services.
Florida now ranks 50 of 51 jurisdictions in mental health spending per person, with only Puerto Rico
lagging behind. In addition, money for low-income housing from the Sadowski Fund has been moved
into the general revenue. This is particularly a problem in Broward County, where, as Commissioner Nan
Rich has pointed out, the disparity between low wages and high rents has created a housing crisis.
While our voices were heard, we need a giant chorus to make a difference! Using the links below, call
your Florida House Representatives and Senators, and read them the previous paragraph and tell your
story: How have these funding cuts affected you? What mental health services does your family need?
Do you have a safe, affordable place to live? Thank you for adding your voice!
Here is the link to find and call or e-mail your Florida Representative:
Here is the link to find and call or e-mail your Florida Senator: