Transforming Care and Improving Access: The Path Forward for Mental Health & Substance Use

The Challenge

  • Over the past decade, inadequate mental health and substance use care has grown into a public health crisis, with suicides and drug-related deaths at record levels.
  • In Florida, approximately 660,000 adults and 181,000 children live with serious mental illness, including bipolar disorder, severe depression or schizophrenia, and nearly half of the population will struggle with less devastating forms at some point in their lives. — National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Orlando
  • When it comes to accessing mental health care professionals like psychologists and therapists, Florida ranks 44th out of 50 states. — State of Mental Health in America, 2018
  • Continually rising healthcare costs have pushed many Floridians into plans that cover less and cost more with limited access and availability to mental health services and support, including early detection and appropriate treatment.

The Solution: The Path Forward for Mental Health & Substance Use in Florida

The Florida Alliance for Healthcare Value has been selected to lead efforts in Florida to improve mental health and substance use treatment. This is part of a national transformative initiative called The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use led by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) Center for Workplace Mental Health and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.

Our efforts are focused on achieving measurable improvements in five priority areas:

  • Increasing capacity and improving access to “in-network” behavioral health specialists
  • Expanding use of the collaborative care model to integrate behavioral health into primary care
  • Implementing measurement-based care in both primary care and behavioral specialty care to improve quality and outcomes
  • Expanding tele-behavioral health
  • Ensuring mental health parity compliance

The Florida Alliance for Healthcare Value is leading one of eight Regional Employer-Stakeholder Engagement Teams (RESET) in the US focused on these reform efforts. We are leveraging the influence of our employer and healthcare purchaser members to work with Florida’s health plans, medical and behavioral groups, consultants and brokers to transform the current system and achieve meaningful outcomes.

Additional Resources for Employers

The Center for Workplace Mental Health, part of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, offers a number of additional resources for employers.


If you have questions or are interested in sponsoring this program, please contact Karen van Caulil, PhD.