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Casey DeSantis to head initiative to tackle mental health issues and substance abuse
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis is taking on mental health as a major issue. DeSantis announced Thursday at a Tampa elementary school that she's starting a program called "Hope for Healing." She plans to coordinate state agencies to look at existing mental health and substance programs to see what works, and what doesn't to see how state money can be better spent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventing, 1 in 6 American children between the ages of 2 and 8 has a diagnosed mental, behavioral or developmental disorder. Beginning next year, students in grades 6 through 12 will get five hours of mental health awareness training. DeSantis is also working with private businesses to compile and print resource guides to be distributed statewide on where people can go for help with mental health and substance abuse issues. A website is also being developed to provide similar information.