Children’s Mental Health Bill Passes Legislature

Florida’s students now have access to additional resources and services to support their mental health needs. With the passage of HB 945: Children’s Mental Health, sponsored by State Rep. David Silvers (D-District 87), Florida’s schools will be better equipped to support students facing mental health issues.

Silvers filed the bill with input from the Department of Children & Families and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission. The bill focuses on three areas: mobile response teams, the coordination of children’s system of care and crisis stabilization services. The bill was sponsored by State Sen. Bobby Powell (D-District 30) in the Florida Senate.

“We have a responsibility to ensure our schools, teachers, administrators and others have access to the support and services needed for children and youth in our schools struggling with mental and behavioral health challenges,” Silvers said. “The goal of this bill is to protect children from additional trauma like the use of the Baker Act while also providing a safe, caring environment for children as well as their classmates and teachers.”

The bill allows for school districts to utilize mobile response units and crisis stabilization services as a first line of assistance to children needing mental health care. Additionally, the bill will further ensure that parents and guardians will have access to mobile crisis providers and will create a model protocol for school districts to utilize.

The bill now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis to be signed into law.