Tampa Bay Thrives is an innovative nonprofit helping people in the Tampa Bay area better address mental health and substance use issues by focusing initially on:
- Navigation: Improved navigation resources to help individuals in need find the appropriate care.
- Access: Access to behavioral health short-term counseling to provide a “first stop” for individuals suffering from anxiety, depression or substance use disorders.
- Awareness: Removing the stigma of seeking treatment for mental health issues.
Our first major pilot project, Let’s Talk, launched in July 2021. Let’s Talk is a free, confidential, 24/7 behavioral health support and navigation line, connecting callers to trained counselors who can provide emotional support, information, and referrals to help people begin their journey to better mental health.
In 2020, we worked with a coalition of more than 30 organizational stakeholders to design Let’s Talk. This group developed a vision for a behavioral health support line that would address our strategic priorities of improving navigation and access. To inform development of the support line, we conducted an ecosystem assessment, patient surveys, interviews, and an assessment of similar models. Claims analysis found that across insurance types, 50% of the population in our region has a behavioral health need. Patient surveys and interviews found that most people are not finding it easy to find care. Approximately 78% of patients are dissatisfied when looking for a behavioral health provider; 34% of patients indicated that they had to wait more than 3 weeks to see a provider.
TBT followed the evidence gained in its feasibility, assessment, and planning period to develop Let’s Talk. The vision of Let’s Talk is to include the following: 24/7 navigation support to any individuals in need, including navigation to local providers, peer support, self-directed resources and immediate connection to crisis support where necessary.
We excited to continue to involve community partners, healthcare systems, municipal government entities, and individuals in community engagement and continuous improvement of the navigation line.
One of the roles of Tampa Bay Thrives is to serve as convener and advocate for additional resources in our community. Our public policy and advocacy committee consists of stakeholders from multiple industries. The goal is to identify where we can come together as a region and raise unified voices for improved policies and investments in behavioral health.