At our last Hot Topics luncheon, we were privileged to have on hand representatives from Coastal Behavioral Health, Bayside Center for Behavioral Health at SMH, and First Step of Sarasota. Forty members and guests were given a comprehensive overview of addiction and mental health services in Sarasota, and the sizable challenge presented by large numbers of indigent and uninsured. Special attention was given to the impact on homelessness and our bulging jail population, and the steps already taken within the county to address these costly problems. Much emphasis was placed on the dirth of state funding, which has remained stagnant for the last 15 years. Given the current fiscal climate in Tallahassee, the situation shows little sign of improvement, and we were all encouraged to continue to reach out to our state elected representatives. Pictured from left to right; Jack Minge, CEO of Coastal Behavioral Health, Phillip Brooks from First Step, and Ken Alexander of Bayside Center for Behavioral Health.

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