An act relating to veteran services; amending s. 14.2019,
F.S.; requiring the Statewide Office for Suicide
Prevention to establish a Veterans' Suicide Prevention and
Mental Health Services Program; creating s. 14.20193,
F.S.; establishing the program; specifying the tasks for
the office in implementing the program; providing minimum
standards for community-based providers that provide
services to veterans at risk for suicide and mental
illness; providing an appropriation; providing an
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Paragraph (e) is added to subsection (2) of
section 14.2019, Florida Statutes, to read:
14.2019 Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention.--
(2) The statewide office shall, within available resources:
(e) Establish a Veterans' Suicide Prevention and Mental
Health Services Program as provided in s. 14.20193.
Section 2. Section 14.20193, Florida Statutes, is created
14.20193 Veterans' Suicide Prevention and Mental Health
(1) The statewide office shall establish the Veterans'
Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Services Program to:
(a) Coordinate suicide prevention and mental health
services and resources for veterans which are currently provided
by or available through the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the
Department of Military Affairs, and the United States Department
(b) Develop a network of behavioral health service
providers that provide community-based suicide prevention and
mental health services for veterans and their families.
(c) Generate guidelines and standards for behavioral
service providers serving veterans at risk for suicide and mental
illness and develop a list of community behavioral health service
providers who meet those standards.
(d) Increase public awareness about the risk of suicide and
mental illness among veterans.
(e) Coordinate education and training for professionals who
may have contact with veterans at risk for suicide or mental
(f) Develop a standard operating procedure for identifying
tier levels of support for veterans.
(2) Guidelines and standards for community behavioral
health services providers shall, at a minimum, address:
(a) A requirement that the provider be a nonprofit
organization under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, be
community-based, and have at least 5 years of experience
providing behavioral health treatment services in the community.
(b) The provider's capability and experience as a
community-based organization providing suicide prevention and
mental health services to the community and to the veteran
(c) The provider's linkages to the veteran population,
community-based veterans services organizations, the federal
Department of Veterans Affairs, and other entities that serve and
are familiar with the culture and needs of veterans. At a
minimum, the provider must have four cooperative agreements with
(d) The provider's accreditation by a state-recognized
accrediting organization, such as the Commission on Accreditation
of Rehabilitation Facilities, the Joint Commission on the
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, or the Council on
Accreditation, particularly with respect to the service
components that serve veterans at risk for suicide and mental
(e) The adequacy and professional qualifications of the
provider's staff to meet the needs of veterans at risk for
suicide and mental illness.
(f) The provider's resources, including facilities,
equipment, and capacity, to ensure that services are adequate and
provided in a location that is amenable to the veteran
population, including veterans with disabilities.
(g) The privacy and confidentiality of client records, data
collected, interview information, and transcripts of group
discussions, including how confidential information will be
stored and safeguarded and who will have access to the
(h) The provider's ability to collect, document, and report
data on performance measures and how the data is to be used to
manage the program and ensure continuous quality improvement.
Section 3. The sum of $1.3 million in nonrecurring funds is
appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Statewide
Office for Suicide Prevention for the 2008-2009 fiscal year for
the purpose of funding the Veterans' Suicide Prevention and
Mental Health Services Program created by this act.
Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.