Florida Schools Lacking Mental Health Staff

Mental health in Florida is in the hot seat again. Even though mental health is a huge focus these days, a recent report found that Florida schools are severely lacking proper resources. This comes just days after a Parkland shooter survivor, unfortunately, took her life by suicide after dealing with PTSD from the mass shooting

American Civil Liberties Union recently published a report that highlighted that a majority of public schools in Florida don’t have enough mental health staff. The consequences of this could be long-term.

The specific findings showed that 22% of schools had no counselor on staff, 95% of schools have no school psychologist on staff, and 92% of schools had no social worker on staff.

Even more shocking, the study found that 1.7 million students attend schools with no counselors or other mental health professionals, but with cops. This plays into the question when prevention from law enforcement or mental health professionals is more important.

ACLU’s recommends one counselor for every 250 students, but right now Florida’s average is way above that with there being one counselor for every 554 students.

Many public schools are currently looking to add more mental health professionals. It often comes down to budget. Many schools can soon access money for mental health from the Mental Health Allocation Plan, a legislature that passed after the Parkland shoot last year. This legislature set aside $6.2 million last year and $500,000 annually for school mental health services.

For parents worried about their child’s mental health, be sure to seek outside school resources if the school doesn’t have them. Feel free to contact us to learn more about our treatments and to see if we can help you. Everyone deserves treatment for mental health.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez

DABPN, DABAM, MRO