Key Finding From Surveys and Research

Baker/Marchman Acts

According to The Baker Act Fiscal Year 2015/2016 Annual Report by the Baker Act Reporting Center at the University of South Florida’s Mental Health Institute, Circuit 2 (Leon, Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty and Wakulla Counties), had a total of 3,084 involuntary examinations. This represents an 8.17% increase from the previous fiscal year and a 43.64% increase from fiscal year 11/12. This data includes children, and when analyzed separately from adults, children had a 116% increase of Baker Act examinations from fiscal year 10/11 to fiscal year 15/16.

Community Health Need Assessment

Results indicated that 20% of respondents in all five targeted neighborhoods endorsed items related to anxiety, 23% endorsed items related to depression, and 4% endorsed items related to psychosis. These responses were notable for both broad levels of mental health issues and specific neighborhood issues. This represents a need for quality mental health serves and access to those services.

Perceived Stress Score (PSS) Data

The Perceived Stress Score (PSS) is a self-reported tool designed to measure the extent to which people appraise situations in their lives as stressful. The PSS measures stress on a scale of 1-20, one being the lowest stress level and 20 being the highest. The PSS has been found across studies to have acceptable validity as compared to other validated measures of stress, as well as measures of depression and anxiety. The national mean score of the PSS has been found to be 13.2. The Leon county PSS mean score was found to be 15.4.
The survey found that ZIP codes 32305, 32303, and 32317 reported the highest levels of stress/anxiety, with 32311 just above the reported mean of 15.48 at 15.8. Frenchtown, South Leon County, and South City have the highest levels of both anxiety and ER utilization. In contrast, East Leon County and Southwood both reported high levels of anxiety (third and fourth, respectively), coupled with much lower incidences of stress-related ER visits. Killearn, strikingly, reported the lowest stress levels, but was at number 6 in stressrelated emergency department visits.

Primary Care Physician Survey Findings

250 local physician were surveyed on how they screen patients for mental health issues. Results indicate that the majority of physicians reported screening for mental health issues in adult patients and that they are very or extremely comfortable in addressing these issues. Physicians primarily identify time constraints, insurance issues and lack of familiarity with community resources as the major constraints in dealing with mental health issues. Most physicians were comfortable managing medications for anxiety, depression and ADHD; significantly fewer were comfortable managing medications for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Half of all respondents reported that they did not have a comprehensive resource list for mental health and substance abuse referrals.


Evaluate: Develop the survey findings into a comprehensive evaluation of regional behavioral health strengths and weaknesses. Expand: Expand the available pool of professionals able to prescribe psychiatric medicine. Educate: Educate local communities about the availability and efficacy of non-prescriber professionals. For example, psychotherapy has shown to lead to fewer relapses of anxiety and mild to moderate depression than medication use alone. Engage: Engage high behavioral health intensity communities within Leon County to develop a concentrated, community sensitive, and sustainable response to observed high need areas.