Gov. Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis Visit AdventHealth to Discuss Opioid Epidemic, Mental Health During COVID-19

A roundtable of leaders shared the pandemic’s impact on mental health and substance abuse in various aspects of the community.
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AdventHealth hosted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis, and other state and local leaders on August 19 at AdventHealth Altamonte Springs for a roundtable discussion on mental health and substance abuse amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeSantis noted that while the pandemic has been a main focus of attention for government and health care, issues around addiction and mental health haven’t gone away.

The state of Florida has seen a year-over-year increase of 35% in suicides, 51% in overdoses, and 15% in overdose deaths, DeSantis said.

AdventHealth Altamonte Springs CEO Tim Cook and Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma discussed the two organizations’ joint effort to better treat those suffering from addiction and mental health issues.

“We have to take care of the whole person,” said Cook, noting the health care system has deployed substance-abuse navigators to assist patients who come into the ER to “get them on a path to wholeness and wellness.”

“Prior to this partnership, people would typically be treated in the ER for overdose, and then be released into the same conditions where they overdosed in the first place,” said Lemma. “It’s our collective responsibility to protect and preserve human life.”

To learn more about AdventHealth and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office partnership and work with mental health and opioid addiction, click here.

The full recording of the roundtable can be viewed here.

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