Staying fresh in Miami’s ever-growing mental health landscape

Citrus Health Network, a United Way of Miami-Dade impact partner for over 25 years, started as a mental health center in 1979. Since then, its services have grown exponentially and continue to diversify. Two funded programs in particular are making major strides at serving our community’s most vulnerable.

Established as a federally qualified health center in 2004, Citrus Health Network expanded its services to include primary care health in addition to its behavioral health services. To date, they also provide housing services (both supportive and transitional) for children, adults, and families in need, and have training programs for psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists in the field. With six entry point locations and more than 20 overall centers in South Florida, Citrus Health Network provides services for more than 30,000 individuals per year through its programs.

Funded by our United Way, their Assessment and Emergency Services program is a behavioral health emergency room, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for behavioral health assessments or for anyone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. This program has brought down state-level match dollars, at a ratio of four to one. They service 6,000-8,000 individuals per year and are open to those with and without health insurance.

Most recently, Citrus Family Care Network was selected as the Child Welfare Community Based Care lead agency for the Southern Region by the Florida Department of Children and Families. “Our top three priorities are protecting children, strengthening families and engaging communities,” says Leslie Veiga, communications director of Citrus Health Network.

It’s because of these same priorities, that we continue to fund their Family Refuge for Adolescence in Transition (F.R.A.T.) House program. Citrus Health has provided foster care services for more than 25 years. But F.R.A.T. House is for young adults aging out of the foster care system. It acts as an extended foster care program, for young adults ages 18-24 that need a place to live and additional support, with 20-25 young adults served per year. F.R.A.T. House helps with many things, such as job training, assistance for school applications, and applying for disability benefits.

Because of our United Way’s involvement with the program, almost $1 million in federal funds were brought down this year.

“United Way has such a broad reach,” Veiga continues. “They work with so many partners in so many areas, both geographically and service-oriented. I think the combination serves as such a powerful platform to be able to spread the word for the need for foster parents and other partnership opportunities.”

There’s a great need for foster parents in Miami-Dade. For more information, visit or call 1 (855) 786-KIDS that is 1 (855) 786-5437.

2019-10-08T15:18:23-04:00 October 8th, 2019|