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More Mental-Health Treatment Sought for Children

By Christine Sexton, WLRN, 05/28/19, 12:00PM CDT

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According to Brosco’s presentation, Florida has one psychiatrist who treats children and adolescents for every 100,000 children.

Florida has an estimated 400,000 children who need behavioral-health services, but 55 percent of them don’t get any treatment, members of a health-care panel were told Thursday. That translates to 220,000 children across the state, or about one child in every classroom, health official Jeffrey Brosco told members of the Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors during a meeting in Orlando.

“There’s 220,000 children that get no treatment, whatsoever. Let that sink in,” Brosco told the board members, who are charged with running the Florida Healthy Kids program, which offers health and dental insurance for children ages 5 through 18. “If I told you there were 200 kids with cancer who aren’t getting treatment, you’d say, ‘That’s outrageous.’ Two thousand, twenty thousand, you would be up in arms,” he said adding, “It’s outrageous.”