Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.

Duval School District Beefing Up Mental Health Resources To Comply With State Law

The Duval County Public Schools headquarters building on Jacksonville's Southbank is pictured.
Cyd Hoskinson
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Next school year the Duval County School District could employ double the current number of therapists. That’s part of its plan to strengthen mental health services for students under the state’s school safety bill passed after February’s Parkland shooting.

The law requires services follow students from assessment and diagnosis through intervention and treatment to recovery.

This comes at a time where Duval students are self reporting higher rates of attempting suicide and depression than other children in the state.

Related: Duval Students Still Attempt Suicide More Than Their Peers Across Florida

The district plans to increase the number of full service schools having access to therapists from 75 schools to 106, cutting the therapist to school ratio from 1:5 to 1:2.

In addition, the district wants to double the number of “full service plus” schools to 24. In plus schools therapists are a permanent fixture on campus with their own offices, in contrast to the full service model, where therapists travel to students needing assistance.

During a May interview, district staff said 20 percent more students referred for services actually get them in plus schools.

The tentative $8.2 million plan would be comprised of nearly a million from the district’s budget, $2.6 million from the state, $700,00 in philanthropic donations,, more than $3 million from the city though the Kids Hope Alliance department and $2.6 million though Kids Hope Alliance medicaid dollars.

The district won’t know until October, the beginning of the city’s fiscal year, exactly how much it will get through the Kids Hope Alliance, but district staff said it has a Plan B with higher therapist to school ratios if needed.

During the meeting board member Warren Jones said students who are exposed to violent crimes including shootings, should be sought out and given services.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit .

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.