TAMPA (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that $12 million in funds will be allocated to expand peer-to-peer mental health services for first responders in a Friday roundtable at the Tampa Firefighters Museum.
The first lady said money would be distributed among the six regions covered by Florida Department of Children and Families to bolster existing prevention and intervention services.
“First responders impact the lives of Floridians every day and they deserve our support,” Governor Ron DeSantis said. “In Florida, we realize that on top of financial support, our first responders need to have resources available to support their mental health. We will continue to make investments in our first responders that will make lasting impacts.”
“Our first responders have made it their life’s work to put the needs of others before their own,” First Lady Casey DeSantis said. “It is vital that we provide them with resiliency and mental health resources to continue serving our communities. By expanding these services, we can help to create a strong network of support for our first responders.”
These funds will help local organizations will reach first responders and their families with peers who are trained in offering information and supportive counseling.
“Prevention and early intervention are the cornerstones of our Department’s efforts in working to align our systems to provide needed supports to first responders and their families at our first moment of impact,” DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris said. “We are thankful for our partners across the state who respond with urgency to their clients’ needs, and by further building out and establishing a permanency in resources for mental health services for first responders we know that the Department will be able to more effectively and efficiently meet the needs of those who give their all to keep our state safe.”