Mental health task force set to meet Aug. 30

State Representative Michelle Salzman from House District 1 and Quint Studer with Studer Community Institute will host a two-hour Mental Health Task Force on Monday, Aug. 30 at the University of West Florida.  This strategic meeting will focus on building the mental health “care” blueprint for Pensacola and the surrounding areas.

Rep. Salzman sits on the Healthcare Appropriations Committee in the Florida House and has a vested interest in community based healthcare solutions.  Both she and Studer, who recently spoke on stress and trauma at CivicCon, see the need for collaborative conversations and the opportunity to create a blueprint of mental healthcare.

The initial meetings were done as one-on-one over the last six months with all of the major hospitals, stakeholders and community leaders.   With a group of over 40 stakeholders preparing, they have launched a pre-task force survey to help create an outline for the Aug. 30 meeting.

Among those attending the strategy meeting will be leaders from local hospitals, the Florida House, The Department of Health, Levin Papantonio Rafferty Law, Florida Blue, the VA, School District, Sheriff’s Office, NAS Pensacola, the City’s Homeless Task Force, the mayors of both Pensacola and Century, as well as the Chambers of Commerce, and local pastors.

The Task Force aims to create a blueprint that shows the care “cycle” of Mental Health, and who in the community falls into each area.  Once the blueprint is created, then gaps in care can be identified and a 90-day action plan created.  The group will meet again in 90 days to evaluate progress and create a new action plan to meet again the following quarter.  The objective is to find small, incremental solutions to make progress one step at a time.

“Through initial conversations with the stakeholders, we are confident that the leadership of our community are very eager to move the needle,” said Salzman in a written statement.

The event is not open to the public, but concerned citizens or anyone interested in providing input can reach out to the Rep. Salzman directly via email at:


1 thought on “Mental health task force set to meet Aug. 30

  1. “The event is not open to the public, but…”

    Sounds about right. So I guess they’ll decide these things amongst themselves in the same way that the Homeless Task Force is meeting in closed-door secrecy so the bureaucrats running it can use the committees to enact the decisions and that they already made in private horse trades months beforehand.

    I can’t think of a worse need in our community than (1) taking mental health seriously and (2) dragging its local treatment out of the various outdated schools they were born of, including–especially–the communal positivity indoctrination that is being promulgated on the daily out of the PNJ.

    Which is why–however good Representative Salzman’s intentions are, as I believe them to be–if any of this ever comes before the Board of County Commissioners to fund with Escambia taxpayer money, given the continued insistence on lack of transparency and accountability out of ventures emanating from Downtown corners, the answer should be a resounding no. Until and unless they start from the ground up with public attendance and input, and stop trying to force these pseudo governmental mega ministries down the public’s throats: Children’s Trust, the Homeless Task Force, and now this.

    Wake up, folks. Demand better processes than this from your local leadership.

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