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DeSantis: Don't Neglect Mental Health During Pandemic

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Screenshot: The Florida Channel
Gov. Ron DeSantis. Screenshot: The Florida Channel

Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on Floridians to take care of their mental health as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause fear and isolation.

He convened a roundtable Wednesday in Altamonte Springs of physicians and criminal justice leaders to discuss data trends that together define the degree of our isolation.

In Seminole County alone, the numbers of suicides, overdoses and overdose deaths are up. Crime is down, and many believe it is because things like child abuse are going unreported. 

“What would probably have more bang for the buck?," DeSantis asked. "Testing an asymptomatic 22-year-old or putting some of that money toward mental health in schools or fighting some of the substance abuse? And I think probably the latter would have a little bit more bang for the buck. And it doesn’t mean you don’t do all of these things in combination.” 

Also part of the roundtable was First Lady Casey DeSantis, who in May announced a multi-agency initiative on mental health and substance abuse called Hope For Healing Florida. 

Noting that numbers of hospital visits are down, the leaders urged Floridians to seek help when needed. 

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.