Florida's first lady holds session on mental health at First Coast High

First Lady Casey DeSantis also stopped in West Palm Beach as part of campaign

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis speaks at First Coast High School.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis was in Jacksonville on Monday to talk about her Hope for Healing Florida campaign, which strives to help Floridians struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse. 

DeSantis was joined by other school leaders at First Coast High School as she held a listening session on those issues.

"In order to make sure we're doing the right things to fix the problem, we have to understand where the problem is -- where it is and what is being done in those areas to be able to make a difference," DeSantis said. 

Later this week, as part of the initiative, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran will present a rule that would require five hours of mental health training in schools for grades six through 12.

"This week, the state Board of Education plans to vote on a rule that requires mental and emotional health education for students so they can recognize the hazards of teen suicide, bullying and cyberbullying and opioid and alcohol addictions," Corcoran said.

State leaders said the training would also include mental health first aid.

"Duval County Schools is working to ensure that all of our students have access to mentors, social and emotional learning curriculum, as well as mental health professionals, and I appreciate the first lady’s support through the Hope for Healing Florida initiative," said Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene.

DeSantis also held a second listening session Monday at the Hanley Foundation in West Palm Beach.

About the Authors:

Zachery “Zach” Lashway anchors KPRC 2+ Now. He began at KPRC 2 as a reporter in October 2021.