South Florida lawmakers refile legislation to address ‘critical shortage’ of mental health workers

Two Democratic South Florida lawmakers are again trying to shore up the state’s shortage of mental health workers.

This week, Sen. Tina Polsky of Boca Raton and Rep. Hillary Cassel of Dania Beach refiled twin bills (SB 164, HB 147) that would create a scholarship and loan forgiveness program for future mental health professionals.

They carried similar measures during the 2023 Legislative Session as well. Both bills died without a hearing.

Florida ranks 43rd in mental health worker-to-patient ratio, according to the Miami Center for Mental Health and Recovery. The state ranked 49th last year for access to mental health care,

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