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This year, 18,000 Sarasota County residents will experience a severe mental illness. Despite these numbers, Florida still ranks 42nd out of 51 states in per capita spending on mental health. Why is this important to you and your community? Because for every $1 invested in mental health treatment, $3-$8 are saved due to reduced criminal activity and hospitalizations. For the amount it costs to jail or hospitalize a single person for one year, Florida could provide medications and treatment for ten people with mental illness. This study provides an overview of the range of mental health services and service needs in this community, focusing on major barriers and gaps in care. It also identifies the community and systems-level changes that will result in increased access to and availability of quality mental health services for all who need them.
Executive Summary
Study Group Report
Implementation Updates
Related Websites
Documentary Film
Resumen (Espanol)

“There seems to be much more awareness and publicizing of local mental health-related issues in the overall media today.  The SCOPE study was the first real local document to address Sarasota County and its needs from a broad perspective … Collaborations are also a step in the right direction however much more needs to be accomplished as the area and state are very far behind the more progressive parts of the nation as is noted by several NAMI reports …”
 - Barry Jeffrey, Family Resource Specialist NAMI Sarasota County

“The “SCOPE Mental Health Study Group Report” has been utilized as a road map for everything we have accomplished in this community relating to mental health and substance abuse needs and issues, since the report was released …  So many times we have seen reports get filed on a shelf only to be dusted off periodically.  All the time and energy that this community dedicated to the process that produced the “SCOPE Mental Health Study Group Report” was meaningful.  Although not all of the recommendations have been addressed or just partially addressed, the report will continue to be this county’s guide for mental health and substance abuse issues and needs.  What would be the point of re-inventing this wheel that was so well done?”
 - Pamela Meunier, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Policy Coordinator forSarasota County Health and Human Services

SCOPE ~ 1226 North Tamiami Trail, Suite 202 ~ Sarasota, FL 34236 ~ (941) 365-8751~ Fax: (941) 365-8592

Photos courtesy of Kazuaki Nagata & PolaBran Summers