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Florida: New law requires students to inform school if they're getting mental health help

July 23, 2018, NBC7, Tallahassee, FL: Florida students will have to report if they’ve accessed mental health services In addition to increasing funding for mental health screenings, part of a new law passed in the wake of the tragedy requires school districts to ask students to report if they’ve ever received mental health services. The new reporting requirement is unique to Florida and has mental health advocates concerned. …. “Some parents are afraid that putting that information on their child's record could impede them from getting into college or enlisting in the military,” said Johnson "I don't think either of those things are true, but there's a misunderstanding about what that information could do for a child.” Another uncertainty is how will the information be used. … The Department of Education hasn’t provided much guidance, saying in statements that the department is leaving decisions to local school districts. Some mental health advocates are raising concerns the requirement could lead to children being stigmatized. … “The department is committed to ensuring we provide school districts with the information necessary to keep students safe while they are at school. Decisions on how parents report their child's mental health services are made at the local level. …

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