August 19, 2019

Editor's Page

Safe Places

Mark R. Howard | 7/26/2019

Flagler Health is working to make behavioral health services more available and more effective.

Young Floridians are committing suicide in larger numbers and at a higher rate than they did a decade ago: From 2007-09, according to data from the Florida Department of Health, 245 people between ages 12 and 19 killed themselves — a rate of 4.3 per 100,000 people in that age range. Between 2015-17, the number of suicides in that age range rose to 347 — a rate of 6.2, nearly a percentage point above the national average.

Florida shouldn’t have needed those statistics — or the staggering number of opioid-related deaths or the Parkland school shooting — to pay more attention to the availability of behavioral health services. Few states spend less than Florida on mental health, and we rank 43rd in the availability of mental health services.

 

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