First Lady Casey DeSantis announces launch of website providing resources for Floridians with cancer
Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis visited Jacksonville on Wednesday to announce the launch of a website to help Floridians who have cancer and their loved ones navigate coverage and find providers, treatment options, nonprofits and other resources for day-to-day life.
Florida first lady launches effort to teach resiliency
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis on Friday announced the launch of a new initiative to teach public school students about resiliency and perseverance with the assistance of athletes from professional sports teams from around the state. Pro athletes from Florida's NFL, MLB, NHL, NASCAR and professional soccer teams have been enlisted for public service announcements and outreach to schools to provide a message that sometimes life gives you knocks but you have can work to overcome them, DeSantis said at a news conference at the Amway Center, where the Orlando Magic play. A goal is to help overcome some of the stigma students associate with admitting to having mental health problems and reframe that narrative into one of resiliency and hope, said DeSantis, who has made mental health issues a priority in her work as the state's first lady. “We know that no one is immune to adversity and hardship," she said. AdThe initiative will make available curricula that teachers can use to teach about perseverance and also enlist the athletes to spread the message about the importance of resiliency.
Florida education commissioner says distance learning will continue into next year
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida students will be able to continue to learn remotely through the second half of the school year as the state grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said Wednesday. The Florida Education Association teachers union sued the state in July after Corcoran ordered school districts to offer in-person instruction when the 2020-2021 school year began. Corcoran told the state education board Wednesday that he expects to release another order addressing the pandemic by the end of this month. The Florida Education Association is asking the full court to reconsider the ruling, even as schools across the state have resumed in-person instruction. “We have not yet made that determination,” said Jason Wheeler, Community Information Specialist for Flagler County Schools.
After record mail & early voting, Florida braces for Election Day
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Floridians have shattered records for both early and in-person early voting this year. Records were shattered in both vote-by-mail and early, on-site voting in Florida and ballots cast represent 93% of all votes received in 2016. Turnout comparisonVoting by mail isn’t as popular in Jacksonville and neighboring counties as in South Florida, but early voting exceeded 2016 everywhere. Given President Donald Trump’s continuing yet unfounded warning of massing mail voting fraud, Republican voters could well outnumber Democrats on Election Day, as well. Any voters with spoiled mail ballots because of signature or other issues have until 5 p.m. Thursday to fix them.
First Lady Casey DeSantis makes case for in-person learning
Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis used this week’s Children and Youth Cabinet to lay out the case for a full return to classroom learning. DeSantis says the science supports the move to bring students back to school. “The CDC released data showing that children ages 19 and younger have a 99.997 percent survivability rate,” DeSantis said. When schools were closed in April, Florida’s Child Abuse Hotline saw a 38-percent decline in calls. “She took me home and met my mom and saw the situation," Adams said.
2 years after Michael, Florida Panhandle recovery goes on
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Much of the blue tarps that covered the battered homes across Florida’s Panhandle are gone, as the scars from Hurricane Michael two years ago begin to fade. And the state added a mental health coordinator as a component in its disaster recovery efforts. In addition to expanding mental health services, the new funding will be used to build playgrounds and rebuild preschools still awaiting help. Hurricane Michael damaged an estimated 60,000 homes. “The Florida Education Association has long called on the governor and lawmakers to fully invest in mental health professionals for our public school students,” Spar said.
Pandemic placing strain on Floridians’ mental health
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida is facing a mental health storm as a result of the pandemic. The state’s Children and Youth Cabinet was told Wednesday the pandemic has also changed how people are receiving mental health treatment. We attribute it to on going engagement via tele-health,” Joiner said. First Lady Casey DeSantis, who chairs the Cabinet, has championed children’s mental health following Hurricane Michael. 1 question she gets from parents is how to identify mental health issues.
Pandemic revealing gaps in Florida’s mental health resources
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s child abuse hotlines saw a sharp drop off in calls while schools were closed due to the pandemic, but mental health calls increased. Florida’s First Lady and mental health experts from around the state are looking at ways to address the mental health problem, especially in areas with poor access to services. The Legislature included $100 million for school mental health in this year’s budget. Mental health experts said similar or even increased funding may be necessary for the coming year to respond to the long-term impacts of the pandemic. If you are struggling, please call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255 or dial 211 to be connected with a local mental health care provider.
Money to aid mental health services for children in Florida
The Florida Department of Education is making $2 million available to rural counties across the state to increase access to telehealth to provide mental-health services for schoolchildren. “I’m excited today to announce to 18 of the rural counties across the state of Florida we’ll be issuing $2 million to those rural districts to help students there increase access to tele- and mental-health services,” Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis said during a Monday news conference at the governor’s mansion. The money is available from federal CARES Act stimulus funding and will be directed to rural counties that have lower rates of internet connectivity and have limited access to health-care professionals. “The bridge that we have created with tele-mental health ensures that that door is opened that much more quickly.” Mayhew said. Monday’s announcement was lauded by Natalie Kelly, CEO of the Florida Association of Managing Entities.
Governor DeSantis, wife welcome 3rd child to family
They welcomed a baby girl into the world, Casey DeSantis announced on Monday. “Ron and I are beyond blessed to welcome our new baby girl, Mamie to the world,” the announcement said. “She was the smallest of the bunch, but she is already holding her own,” Casey DeSantis said. “I did not go into the delivery room because I didn’t want to burn PPE,” DeSantis said. “You know, it was kind of a sad thing, but my wife and I both felt that was the right thing to do.
Florida first lady announces mental health coordinator for disaster recovery
On Wednesday, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management has hired Darcy Abbott as the first Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator in Floridas history. The First Lady made the announcement atTALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A longtime administrator at two Florida health care agencies has been named the state's first mental-health coordinator for recovery efforts after natural disasters, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Wednesday. "The distress a disaster can have on residents is just as impactful as the physical destruction left behind, and we will continue to provide much-needed support as we develop and implement various mental health services." She will help coordinate mental health services for people impacted by the storm. "Hurricane Michael created a mental health crisis in the Panhandle at the magnitude this state has never experienced before.
Florida's next Senate president puts focus on businesses, water, children
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Shortly after Trilby Republican Wilton Simpson was formally elected Tuesday as Florida's next Senate president, he characterized himself as a farmer and an entrepreneur --- and not a politician. Simpson will succeed President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, after the November 2020 elections and will hold one of the most powerful political jobs in Florida. One thing he would like to see fixed in the foster care system is cutting down the waiting time for qualified parents to adopt children. He also wants to keep children from bouncing from foster home to foster home. When Simpson takes over as president, his counterpart as House speaker will be Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls.
Schools to report on substance abuse instruction
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida public school officials will be required to report to the state their methods of teaching students about substance abuse every year, under a new mandate approved by the state Board of Education on Wednesday. From the time they enter kindergarten to the moment they graduate high school, Florida students are required to take classes on substance use and abuse, according to state law. But Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said his department needs a rule requiring schools to report their plans to the state, to ensure they are meeting the instruction mandate. All we are doing is requiring them to report it, Corcoran said. They dont have to come up with something new.Under the new rule, school districts must report their plans to the Florida Department of Education every year, and explain how they will teach students about youth substance use and abuse.
Execution to keep Florida first lady away from Trump rally
Ron DeSantis will keep First Lady Casey DeSantis from a campaign rally for President Donald Trump, according to the governors office. On Monday, Trumps re-election team sent out an advisory that Florida's First Lady would be joining former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway as the featured speakers at a Women For Trump campaign rally scheduled Thursday in Tampa. But the governors office noted later Monday that Casey DeSantis will not be able to attend the rally, as the event is being held shortly after the scheduled 6 p.m. execution of Death Row inmate Gary Ray Bowles. DeSantis signed the warrant for Bowles death on June 11, nineteen days after serial killer Bobby Joe Long was put to death at Florida State Prison. The event is also part of a series of "Trump Victory Leadership Initiatives" the same day, focused on registering voters ahead of the 2020 elections.
Security spending up for governor, dignitaries
The report doesnt outline how the security details were manned or operated, and doesn't break down the spending on each governor. The spending is topped by $3.05 million for the salary of law enforcement officers who provided security for the governor, and $596,349 for costs tied to transportation. Scott, the wealthiest governor in Florida history, used his personal aircraft to travel. Another $37,461 was spent providing security for the first family, and $236,949 was spent to man the governors mansion and grounds, according to the records. And the state spent more than $8,000 providing security during eight visits to Florida by former Puerto Rico Gov.
Florida will require mental health education
Phil Walter/Getty ImagesTALAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida will become the third state in the US to require students to learn more about mental health, behind Virginia and New York. The Florida State Board of Education voted on Wednesday to require public schools to provide students in grades six and above a minimum of five hours of mental health education annually. It's no secret that mental illness robs students of the ability to reach their full potential, and we are joining forces to combat this disease and give our students the tools they need to thrive," Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said. The mandate is in partnership with Florida's First Lady Casey DeSantis' initiative Hope for Healing Florida, which is a website that compiles mental health resources for students and parents. Ron DeSantis allocated to the Mental Health Assistance Allocation for Florida schools in his 2020 budget.
Florida makes mental health classes mandatory in public schools
Providing mental health instruction is another important step forward in supporting our families.Under the new rule, school districts will be able to choose the types of classes children will be required to take, according to Department of Education spokeswoman Cheryl Etters. When asked in late June if the department had done an analysis on whether the new, five-hour instruction requirement would have an impact on time management for other required instruction, Etters did not offer a comment. Rick Scott, said mental health education will be a useful tool for all students. Obviously, this is going to help students who are currently suffering from mental health issues, you know, thoughts of suicide, attempts of suicide. Corcoran suggested more changes related to mental health awareness are in store for Floridas education system, calling the new rule just the beginning.It is going to be a life-saver and it will reduce the stigma, Corcoran said.
Florida's first lady holds session on mental health at First Coast High
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. 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. State leaders said the training would also include mental health first aid. DeSantis also held a second listening session Monday at the Hanley Foundation in West Palm Beach.