OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Children and Families

Mental Health Hospitals

What is the purpose of the program?

The state's seven mental health treatment facilities provide treatment and housing in a secure environment to persons with severe and persistent mental illness who cannot be treated in less restrictive community settings and to individuals who have a mental illness and are involved with the criminal justice system.

Who does the program serve?

The Department of Children and Families' mental health hospitals served 1,908 individuals in civil commitment and 3,540 individuals in forensic commitment during Fiscal Year 2018-19.
  • Adults Served in Civil Mental Health Treatment Facilities. Civil facilities serve individuals 18 years of age or older with severe and persistent mental illness for whom less restrictive treatment settings are not available or appropriate. Individuals may be admitted either voluntarily or involuntarily by court order. There are four civil mental health treatment facilities; two of these are operated by the Department of Children and Families and two are operated by private providers. Florida State Hospital, which is operated by DCF, has both civil and forensic treatment programs. The state's additional civil hospitals are Northeast Florida State Hospital (DCF), South Florida State Hospital (Wellpath), and West Florida Community Care Center (Lakeview Center).
  • Adults Served in Forensic Mental Health Treatment Facilities. Forensic facilities serve individuals charged with a felony criminal offense who are incompetent to proceed to trial and those found not guilty by reason of insanity and determined by the court to require treatment in a state mental health facility.  Individuals who do not require a secure setting may be directly admitted or transferred into one of three civil hospitals.  There are four maximum security facilities to serve individuals determined by the court to require treatment in a state mental health facility; two are operated by the department and two are operated by private providers. Florida State Hospital, which is operated by DCF, has both civil and forensic treatment components. The additional forensic hospitals are North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center (DCF), South Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center (Wellpath), and Treasure Coast Forensic Treatment Center (Wellpath).

How well do the hospitals meet the mental health needs of their clients?

 Program Performance in Fiscal Year 2018-19

Measure Performance
Adults in forensic commitment who are not guilty by reason of insanity with improved functioning   67%
Average number of days to restore competency for adults in forensic commitment   102
Adults in civil commitment with improved functioning   61%
Source:Long Range Program Plan, Department of Children and Families.

How are these activities funded?

State general revenue funds comprise the majority of funding for mental health treatment facilities shown below.
Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
375,618,734
3,144.50
TOTAL
375,618,734
3,144.50

Updates

Funding for State Mental Health Treatment Facilities. The 2020 Legislature appropriated funds via the General Appropriations Act (Chapter 2020-111, Laws of Florida) to the Department of Children and Families for state mental health treatment facilities priorities to increase patient and staff safety by providing funds for
  • anti-ligature improvements ($1.7 million); and
  • fixed capital outlay repairs and maintenance ($2.0 million).  

In addition, $5.0 million was appropriated to add an additional 9 beds at South Florida State Hospital and to provide a cost of living adjustment for contract agencies for certain mental health treatment facilities. 

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports

The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.

Websites of Interest
Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Mental Health America

Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan and Planning and Performance Measures, which reports the department's performance on external and internal measures for its various programs. The measures allow the user to view performance at both a statewide and geographic region level.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 394 and 916, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Mental Health Services

Website