Florida has a serious lack of access to care (Ranked 43rd in the nation, 2017) for people with behavioral health illnesses, meaning that thousands of children and adults lack early intervention services and frequently end up in community hospitals. 

MHAPBC is partnering with the Quantum Foundation, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County to build a countywide training program for Certified Clinical Peer Specialists who will work as part of clinical care teams to help patients with recovery planning, discharge plan implementation, and bridges to aftercare resources. This program is being pilot tested in two HCA hospitals, JFK and JFK North and the Palm Beach County Heath Care District (HCD). 

We intend to demonstrate that patients who enter this intensive program and work with our Certified Peer Specialists will have better health and behavioral health outcomes, lower re-hospitalization rates, and more success in recovery - while freeing up resources in hospitals for others in need of care.


Jesse and Michael are two of MHA's Peer Specialists working in the PEP program.

Patrick Hendry facilitating the National Peer Specialist Certification training to our peers.

Palm Beach County has a serious problem with lack of access to care for people with behavioral health concerns (mental and substance use disorders). Half of American adults (56%) do not receive treatment. The State of Mental Health Report (2017), reports that Florida is 43rd in the nation in Access to Care leading to over-representation of people with mental illness in our jails.   We are also seeing a sharp increase in suicides in Palm Beach County (17.4 per 100,000), which is higher than Florida (15.2) and the nation (13.4).