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Press Release

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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis: Governor Rick Scott is Right to Push for More Mental Health Resources and Training

PARKLAND, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis released the following statement today from the scene of the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida:
“We need more mental health care funding in our state. Governor Scott is right to call on our Legislature to address this while we are still in session. Senator Galvano is asking senators to support $100 million in mental health screening and training as well as improving K-12 school security infrastructure and resources. Similarly, members of the Florida House are beginning to assemble their own package of mental health and K-12 funding. I urge the legislature to move quickly to compromise on their different packages and send our school districts the critical increase in mental health and security resources they need.

“Additionally, it is already a priority of our office to pass legislation moving through the House and Senate to increase mental health benefits for Florida’s first responders. Our first responders are frequently the front line of defense in tragedies like the one here in Parkland, yet our state workers' compensation system is not providing them with the mental health care services they need. As we discuss increasing mental health resources in response to the Parkland tragedy, we must not overlook the very real needs our first responders have as they struggle to deal with the immense psychological and emotional toll of their job. We must change the law immediately to let our first responders access the services they need and bring the high suicide attempt rate of our brave firefighters back in line with that of the general population.”
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