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CFO Patronis hosts mental health round table discussion


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — As you know the panhandle is still struggling to fully recover from Hurricane Michael both on the outside and the inside.

As buildings are repaired and students head back to school, the school system as well as the community is refocusing on mental health issues in school.

Affordable housing and availability was one of the main issues at this round table discussion.

With basic needs still not being met for many, the lack of availability for health care professionals creates staffing issues.

Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis says this is the first step in recovery.

“The overwhelming concern was how do we create a housing environment that is able to support all of the needs that the county needs to get back on its feet. And the biggest fundamental is housing needs that are not currently being met,” said Patronis.

Associate Dean of Faculty Development at FSU Panama City, Irvin Clark, said college students issues are slightly different than K through 12 students.

“A Lot of our college students are homeowners, or some of them rent and they’re looking for affordable housing and they work as they go to school,” said Irvin.

A student at Bay High School, Ana Barragan, says a big part of getting help is the survivors guilt felt by many.

“But there’s so many kids who lost everything and it’s just in my mind not fair because I didn’t deserve not to have anything happen to me, and they didn’t deserve that either,” said Barragan.

If you weren’t able to make it to tonight’s discussion, go to WWW.MYFLORIDACFO.COM to contact Patronis’s staff for further information.

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