The Legislature’s supplemental funding list includes more than $1 million for veteran mental health services.
The supplemental funding list, known by insiders as a “sprinkle list,” is a last-minute collection of budget items introduced into the state’s spending plan.
This year, roughly $1.15 million will go toward veteran mental health.
Under the budget agreements, $125,000 will be awarded to Aspire Health Partners to expand their military veterans and national guard mental health services.
Meanwhile, $375,000 will be give to K9’s for Warriors. Based in Ponta Verde, the group aims to end veteran suicide.
According to its website, K9s for Warriors is the nations largest provider of service dogs to disabled American veterans.
“We rescue and train shelter dogs to be paired as Service Dogs for Warriors with service-connected Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and/or Military Sexual Trauma,” the groups website says.
The Legislature also included more than $309,000 for substance abuse and mental health treatment for veterans.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, veterans are at higher risk of substance abuse.
“The stresses of deployments and the unique culture of the military offer both risks and protective factors related to substance use among active-duty personnel,” the institute says. “Deployment is associated with smoking initiation, unhealthy drinking, drug use and risky behaviors.”
Despite recent attention to veteran suicide rates, suicides among service members continue to climb, the Military Times reported.
Not least, the Legislature is slated to award $350,239 to the University of Central Florida’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic of Florida Veterans and First Responders.
Led by Director Deborah Beidel, UCF RESTORES is a nonprofit clinic research and treatment center.
The center aims to “change the way post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related concerns are understood, diagnosed and treated,” according to the website.
The center also treats survivors of sexual assault, mass violence and natural disasters.