student mental health

Mental health has been a frequent topic at the Capitol following more tragic news from Parkland. Two students who survived last year's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre took their own lives last month. 

The Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald bureau reports that while the Legislature allocated $69 million for student mental health after the tragedy, almost none of it went to suicide prevention. But some lawmakers have begun to study prevention programs.

Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Estero) chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee. He's troubled by a recent report of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In mid-February as his panel heard a presentation on suicide, he pointed to data showing Americans' life expectancy had dropped for the third year in a row.

LESLIE OVALLE / WLRN

The Florida high school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting is getting a therapy dog to help students who need emotional support.

Last week, Florida's 67 district school superintendents held a mental health summit to address what they'd already considered a crisis before the Parkland tragedy. Led by Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie, the summit drew lawmakers, behavioral health providers and state agency heads to Orlando for what many called an unprecedented gathering.

"We are the long-term people." That's how  Dr. Judith Aronson-Ramos, a member of the Advisory Board of Parkland Cares, describes the mission of the organization.