TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida lawmakers are beginning action on a bill that would connect family members of students receiving mental health services with additional resources.
The Subcommittee on Elementary Education & Early Learning at Home enhanced the measure (HB 899) with a unanimous vote on Thursday.
The proposal would require schools to provide parents of students receiving mental health services with information about additional behavioral health services available through the school or in the community.
In response to this requirement, schools may provide internet addresses for web-based service directories. The measure would also connect people living in the same home with a student receiving mental health support to behavioral health services, if “improvements in those individuals’ behavioral health will contribute to improving the health of students”.
House bill sponsor Christine Hunchofsky, D-Parkland, said the proposal would “help both students and their families get the care they need.”
The measure has support from Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina was one of 17 people killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
Montalto is the president of the corporation Stand with Parkland, which advocates for safety and mental health reforms in schools.
“This particular bill will help us by looking not only at the student but also at the family,” Montalto told reporters after Thursday’s meeting. “It is the environment the students are in that we need to fix, and this bill will help inform (about) the services that are available.”
A similar measure (SB 1240) was submitted to the Senate.
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https://miami.cbslocal.com/2022/01/13/florida-bill-bolster-mental-health-resources-families/ Florida Bill to support mental health resources for progressive families – CBS Miami