SARASOTA, Fla. — The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health took center stage on Friday when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted a roundtable discussion in Sarasota.
The governor was joined by First Lady Casey DeSantis, Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell, and other officials at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
WATCH ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION:
"I think the big enchilada in all of this, it was an important issue even before all of this, but I think now with this, I think we're gonna be dealing with ramifications involving mental health for a long time," DeSantis said. "So we need to be prepared to face this."
The governor said this year's state budget in Florida includes an additional $25 million in mental health funding for K-12 public schools.
The money will be put toward youth mental health awareness, training for school faculty, and mental health services via telehealth.
"We're only scratching the surface in terms of the fallout from dealing with the pandemic and how that's influenced people's lives," DeSantis said.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus
Accrording to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 563,315 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,141 deaths in the state.