State law requires districts to provide professional development for school personnel on youth mental health.
Florida Statutes 1006.07 District school board duties relating to student discipline and school safety.
(6) Safety and security best practices. — Each district school superintendent shall establish policies and procedures for the prevention of violence on school grounds, including the assessment of and intervention with individuals whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of the school community.
- Provide the necessary training and resources to students and school district staff in matters relating to youth mental health awareness and assistance; emergency procedures, including active shooter training; and school safety and security.
Florida Statutes 1011.62. Funds for operation of schools.
(16) Mental health assistance allocation. — The mental health assistance allocation is created to provide funding to assist school districts in establishing or expanding school-based mental health care; train educators and other school staff in detecting and responding to mental health issues; and connect children, youth, and families who may experience behavioral health issues with appropriate services. These funds shall be allocated annually in the General Appropriations Act or other law to each eligible school district. Each school district shall receive a minimum of $100,000, with the remaining balance allocated based on each school district’s proportionate share of the state’s total unweighted full-time equivalent student enrollment. Charter schools that submit a plan separate from the school district are entitled to a proportionate share of district funding. The allocated funds may not supplant funds that are provided for this purpose from other operating funds and may not be used to increase salaries or provide bonuses. School districts are encouraged to maximize third-party health insurance benefits and Medicaid claiming for services, where appropriate.
Florida Statutes 1012.583 Continuing education and inservice training for youth suicide awareness and prevention.
(1) By July 1, 2019, the Department of Education, in consultation with the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention and suicide prevention experts, shall develop a list of approved youth suicide awareness and prevention training materials and suicide screening instruments that may be used for training in youth suicide awareness, suicide prevention, and suicide screening for instructional personnel in elementary school, middle school, and high school. The approved list of materials: (b) Must include training on how to identify appropriate mental health services and how to refer youth and their families to those services.
Florida Statutes 1012.584 Continuing education and inservice training for youth mental health awareness and assistance. —
(1) Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the Department of Education shall establish an evidence-based youth mental health awareness and assistance training program to help school personnel identify and understand the signs of emotional disturbance, mental illness, and substance use disorders and provide such personnel with the skills to help a person who is developing or experiencing an emotional disturbance, mental health, or substance use problem.
(2) The Department of Education shall select a national authority on youth mental health awareness and assistance to facilitate providing youth mental health awareness and assistance training, using a trainer certification model, to all school personnel in elementary, middle, and high schools. Each school safety specialist shall earn, or designate one or more individuals to earn, certification as a youth mental health awareness and assistance trainer. The school safety specialist shall ensure that all school personnel within his or her school district receive youth mental health awareness and assistance training.
(3) The training program shall include, but is not limited to:
(a) An overview of mental illnesses and substance use disorders and the need to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
(b) Information on the potential risk factors and warning signs of emotional disturbance, mental illness, or substance use disorders, including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders, and self-injury, as well as common treatments for those conditions and how to assess those risks.
(c) Information on how to engage at-risk students with the skills, resources, and knowledge required to assess the situation, and how to identify and encourage the student to use appropriate professional help and other support strategies, including, but not limited to, peer, social, or self-help care.
(4) Each school district shall notify all school personnel who have received training pursuant to this section of mental health services that are available in the school district, and the individual to contact if a student needs services. The term “mental health services” includes, but is not limited to, community mental health services, health care providers, and services provided under ss. 1006.04 and 1011.62(16).