TAMPA, Fla. — During a press conference Friday in Tampa, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced $12 million in funding will be going toward the expansion of peer-to-peer mental health services for first responders.
These services are available through the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to "bolster existing prevention and intervention services for first responders and their families."
“Our first responders have made it their life’s work to put the needs of others before their own,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “It is vital that we provide them with resiliency and mental health resources to continue serving our communities. By expanding these services, we can help to create a strong network of support for our first responders.”
The funding will go to all six DCF regions and will be used to either create or expand peer-based services in these areas.
DCF has also launched the First Responder Resiliency resource page on the DCF website.
“Prevention and early intervention are the cornerstones of our Department’s efforts in working to align our systems to provide needed supports to first responders and their families at our first moment of impact,” said DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris. “We are thankful for our partners across the state who respond with urgency to their clients' needs, and by further building out and establishing a permanency in resources for mental health services for first responders we know that the Department will be able to more effectively and efficiently meet the needs of those who give their all to keep our state safe.”