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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.

Val Demings Proposes Federal Grant Funding For Police Mental Health

Val Demings

U.S. Representative Val Demings is proposing a bill that would make grant money available to help police departments treat first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The legislation would make existing grant money available to police departments to do peer-to-peer counseling, to study crisis hotlines and the effectiveness of annual mental health exams. It would also make grants available for mental health professionals to develop training specific for law enforcement.

“It’s a start,” said Jessica Realin, whose husband was diagnosed with PTSD after responding to the Pulse night club shooting. “At least it gets the conversation started. I know it’s not everything, but at least it’s something.”

The bill is sponsored by 10 republicans and democrats in the house and senate.