State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
March 05, 2007 850-488-4855

Individuals with Mental Illnesses Hope Their Success Will Encourage Others to Seek Treatment

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.- – Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Bob Butterworth has announced a new addition to the Department’s Web site aimed at further educating the public about individuals living with mental illnesses and encouraging others to seek treatment. Videos of individuals discussing their successful treatment and recovery are now accessible on the Department’s Mental Health Transformation Web site. The Department hopes these stories will help others realize that mental illnesses are treatable and recovery is possible

"We hope those who’ve been afraid to seek mental health treatment due to fears of discrimination or embarrassment will watch these success stories and be inspired to seek treatment," says Secretary Butterworth. "By seeking treatment now, they can overcome their illnesses and get their lives back, despite the obstacles."

Research indicates many people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses or thought and mood disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression) and depression, are now living successfully in their communities. With mental health treatment, self-management and support of family and friends, they are moving forward with their personal recovery goals.

These stories or personal reflections may be found online at http://www.state.fl.us/cf_web/ by clicking on the icon titled "personal reflections."

The Florida Department of Children and Families established Florida’s "Mental Health Transformation" initiative in March 2006 to transform the state’s publicly funded mental health system to a consumer-driven system that embraces prevention, recovery and resiliency. The movement is focused on abandoning old stereotypes of individuals with mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances and replacing them with new attitudes that support individuals with mental illnesses achieving their greatest potential. This new approach results in persons managing their illness and being able to live, work, learn and participate fully in their communities.

For more information about the Florida Department of Children and Families Mental Health Transformation, visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/mentalhealth/mhtransform/index.shtml or call Cynthia Holland, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Mental Health Transformation at (850) 921-4302.


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