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Florida Sheriffs Association Collaborates with Simply Healthcare Plans, Carelon Behavioral Health to Provide Crisis Intervention Team Training

September 27, 2023

The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) is pleased to announce that Simply Healthcare Plans (Simply), in collaboration with Carelon Behavioral Health, has generously granted $150,000 to FSA’s Crisis Intervention Team training program. This partnership ensures that deputies can safely assess and interact with persons with mental illness in a crisis situation.

“We are so thankful for Simply Healthcare Plans and Carelon Behavioral Health’s support that has helped us provide these training opportunities to ensure the safety of our deputies and members of the public,” said FSA President and Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper. “Cases of mental illness and substance abuse happen every day, and it is essential our law enforcement officers are equipped with the proper tools to de-escalate crisis situations to keep everyone involved safe.”

Crisis Intervention Team training is an effective law enforcement response program designed for first responders who handle crisis calls involving people with mental illness including those with co-occurring substance use disorders. With this grant, the Florida Sheriffs Association will provide Crisis Intervention Team Train-the-Coordinator sessions across Florida with a focus on rural communities to increase the number of certified CIT coordinators embedded within local communities. Through these trainings, at least 35 officers will complete the CIT Coordinator Training certificate by the end of 2023.

“Our partnership with the Florida Sheriffs Association and Carelon Behavioral Health is equipping law enforcement officers with the essential tools and training to effectively respond to mental health crises with care and efficiency. Together, we envision a future where compassionate crisis response becomes a cornerstone of law enforcement efforts, positively impacting lives across Florida,” said Cristy Castaneda, Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Simply Healthcare Plans. “At Simply, we recognize the critical role law enforcement officers play as the first responders in life-saving crisis interventions, and through this initiative, we are striving to ensure that timely access to vital healthcare support is available to those in need.”

CIT training emphasizes a partnership between law enforcement, the mental health and substance abuse treatment system, mental health advocacy groups, and consumers of mental health services and their families.

“At Carelon Behavioral Health, we are proud to support The Florida Sheriffs Association and work together to better meet behavioral health needs in our communities,” said Glenn MacFarlane, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carelon Behavioral Health. “Crisis Intervention Training is a key component to helping law enforcement officers identify the symptoms of behavioral health challenges and connect individuals to care.”

For more information on Crisis Intervention Team training, visit our website.


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About Florida Sheriffs Association:
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 90,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has steadfastly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation.


About Simply Healthcare Plans:
Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc. (“Simply”), is a Florida managed health care plan that serves Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members in the state of Florida. In addition, Simply, through a line of business called Clear Health Alliance, also serves Florida Medicaid members who are living with HIV/AIDS. Our goal is to provide healthcare and related services that are comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Each and every day, members of our team can be found in Florida communities, listening to our members, interacting with our health care providers and partnering with community-based organizations. Our goal is to ensure members and entire communities are empowered to become active participants in their health care and sustain healthy lifestyles. To learn more about Simply, visit


About Carelon Behavioral Health:
The name “Carelon” is derived from the word “care” and suffix “-lon,” which means full and complete. Together, these words form Carelon and reinforce our commitment to provide complete care. Carelon was formed in 2022, but our portfolio of businesses has collectively delivered high-impact results for over 150 years. With capabilities spanning pharmacy, behavioral health, complex care delivery, medical benefits management, payment integrity, palliative care, advocacy, research, digital platforms, and operations and technology services, we are already a leader in the healthcare services space.