Mental Health Scan

Mental health impacts every system in our community.

Transforming mental health care from every angle.

Identifying Strengths and Gaps

Untreated mental health issues in children, youth, and young adults devastate individuals, extend to their families, and spread across the community to cost taxpayers dearly.

But the barriers that prevent youth from receiving the care that they need are not insurmountable. In 2018, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation commissioned the University of South Florida to conduct a research scan of mental health services in Sarasota County for young people up to age 24. The goal is to identify strengths and gaps and prioritize ways to make the system work for our youth and their families.

annual economic cost due to untreated mental illness for children and young adults in Sarasota County.

37% of students with a mental health condition age 14 and older drop out of school.

70% of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness.

Effective Transformation of Care

Key Recommendations:

Strengthen the System of Care

  • Create an interagency governance structure, such as the Behavioral Health Stakeholders Consortium, to lead a unified system of care.
  • Assess for trauma and provide care that promotes healing and avoids re-traumatizing.
  • Invest in universal prevention that promotes wellness and prioritize early intervention.

Support Families

  • Establish coordinated entry points for families to access appropriate treatment.
  • Support families in navigating care, especially those with high need youth.

Educate and Advocate

  • Eliminate the stigma associated with receiving mental healthcare.
  • Advocate for a dedicated funding source for children’s health.
  • Attract and retain high quality health care providers and equip all service providers with appropriate training.

Mental Health Project Fund

It will take all of us to do this work. Join us by investing in the Mental Health Project Fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, seeded by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, to address recommendations in the mental health scan. To learn more visit

Together with Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Behavioral Health Stakeholders’ Consortium and other nonprofits, we will engage in the hard work of turning these findings into an action plan to improve the mental health care system. To receive more information, contact John Annis, Senior Vice President for Collaboration and Impact, at

“Mental health services are consumer driven. You have to reduce the stigma and make people open to getting assistance. Then you have to make that help available.”

– Stakeholder Interview