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Mental Health Summit in Niceville to focus on legislative updates, trauma services, and women’s safety

The Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women (OCCSW) will host a Mental Health Summit at Northwest Florida State College on Friday, June 14, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to […]

Source: Rep. Patt Maney

The Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women (OCCSW) will host a Mental Health Summit at Northwest Florida State College on Friday, June 14, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • The event will take place in the Raider Café, located in Building 400 on the college’s Niceville Campus, and will feature a keynote speech by Florida House Representative Patt Maney, who has been instrumental in championing changes to the state’s mental health legislation.

Rep. Maney, a strong advocate for mental health reform, recently led the charge in the Florida House of Representatives to pass CS/CS/HB 7021 – Mental Health and Substance Abuse, a bill aimed at modernizing Florida’s Baker and Marchman Acts. The legislation, which received unanimous approval in the House, marks the first major improvement to the Baker Act in 53 years and the Marchman Act in 30 years.

  • “Persistence surely does pay off,” said Rep. Maney back in March. “After four years in office pursuing these improvements, I am delighted that my colleagues are just as determined as I to see this good legislation implemented.”

The proposed changes include modernizing standards for involuntary mental health treatment services, broadening the definition of licensed medical practitioners qualified to provide care, and refining the responsibilities of county courts. The bill aims to reduce recidivism, improve access to care, and increase the efficiency of mental health service delivery, supported by a $50 million appropriation.

During the Mental Health Summit, Rep. Maney will discuss these legislative updates to the Baker Act and their potential impact on Florida’s mental health system.

In addition to the keynote speech, attendees can participate in a mental health panel discussion on trauma-related therapeutic services and advocacy, as well as an interactive workshop on women’s personal security and situational awareness led by Empower Academy President Matthew Docchio, a retired Sergeant First Class from the United States Army Special Forces Green Berets.

Registration for the Mental Health Summit is available online and must be completed by June 10, 2024. Participants have the option to purchase a box lunch for $12 when registering online.

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