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Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida and is part of Hillsborough County. The city has a population of over 347,000 full-time residents1 and is home to a number of academic, cultural, and sporting centers. Busch Gardens Tampa is a major tourist attraction, and visitors also come to the city to experience the Lowry Zoo and the Florida Aquarium. The city has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years due to the success and fame of their NFL team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the city’s pride and joy.

 

Mental Health Statistics
According to the Florida Department of Health, 20% of all adults in Hillsborough County reported having a mental health issue that impaired their ability to complete daily activities in any given 30-day period between 2010 and 20122. During that same period, 12% of all deaths reported in the county were suicides3. In addition, the department reported that over 22,000 cases of domestic violence were recorded in Hillsborough County in those same years4.

 

Tampa Takes Care of Its Own
Tampa works directly with county resources, community members, nonprofit organizations, national sponsors, and the regional branch of Florida’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Program (SAMH) to offer all its residents the best in mental health care. With employment programs, housing programs, crisis respite, and other services, the city is able to offer ample care for its residents. Hillsborough County implements wraparound care for its at-risk children, coordinating care with the juvenile justice system, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and city social workers5.

 

Another critical resource that is available to all Tampa residents is the Department of Family and Aging Services, created in 2010 as a core element of the transitional healthcare plan devised by the county6. The goal of the plan is to integrate the Departments of Health and Social Services, Children’s Services, and Aging Services into one network of services that provide comprehensive and diverse care to all Hillsborough citizens.

 

Programs that are or will be included in the Department of Family and Aging Services are Children’s Services, Head Start, Child Care Licensing, Aging Services, Veterans Affairs, Trauma Agency, County Health Plan, the Sunshine Line, and the Community Action Program. Each of these specialized programs has its own vision, goals, and mission. The Children’s Services Division, for example, is committed to fiscal responsibility, accountability, training, education, ethical treatment, diversity, cultural inclusion, empathy, and advocacy for those with mental health issues7. Collectively, these entities work together to ensure that residents have access to senior care, crisis intervention, healthcare resources, education, employment counseling and training, education, casework management, and overall support. Tampa works with the county to provide the most effective, accessible avenues of care to adults, children, seniors, veterans, and those with special needs so that all residents can achieve the best quality of life possible.

 

1 U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. (2013). State & County QuickFacts: Tampa, Florida. Retrieved from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12/1271000.html

2 Florida Department of Health, Division of Public Health Statistics and Performance Management. (2013). Social and Mental Health: Domestic violence. Retrieved from http://www.floridacharts.com/charts/Brfss/DataViewer.aspx?bid=68

3 Florida Department of Health, Division of Public Health Statistics and Performance Management. (2013). Social and Mental Health: Suicides. Retrieved from http://www.floridacharts.com/charts/DataViewer/DeathViewer/DeathViewer.aspx?indNumber=0116

4 Florida Department of Health, Division of Public Health Statistics and Performance Management. (2013). Social and Mental Health. Retrieved from http://www.floridacharts.com/charts/OtherIndicators/NonVitalIndNoGrpDataViewer.aspx?cid=0312

5 Florida Department of Children and Families. (2013). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Plan 2014-2016. Retrieved from http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/samh/publications/2014-2016%20SAMH%20Services%20Plan.pdf

6 Hillsborough County Florida. (2013). Family and Aging Services. Retrieved from http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx?nid=97

7 Hillsborough County Florida. (2013). Children Services. Retrieved from http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx?nid=282