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Mississippi legislature’s mental health task force to begin meeting July 17-18

Lawmakers in Mississippi are gearing up to tackle mental health through a new task force and are asking for the public’s input.

Established by Senate Bill 2727, the K-12 and Postsecondary Mental Health Task Force will begin meeting July 17-18 at the state capitol in Jackson. The 24-member committee is co-chaired by Rep. Rob Roberson and Sen. David Parker and includes mental health advocates and experts from across the state. The public is invited to provide any written testimony to [email protected] that could offer aid in drafting future legislation.

“We need to establish a foundation on which the task force can build its recommendations,” Parker said ahead of the first meeting. “I look forward to examining where Mississippi stands in terms of mental health of our young people in comparison to the rest of the nation.”

Other members of the K-12 and Postsecondary Mental Health Task Force include:

Dr. Jonathan Baker, UMMC Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Senator Kevin Blackwell, Chairman of Senate Medicaid Senator Nicole Boyd, Chairwoman of Senate Universities & Colleges Senator Hob Bryan, Chairman of Senate Public Health & Welfare Wendy Clemons, Associate Superintendent at the Mississippi Department of Education Representative Sam Creekmore, Chairman of House Public Health & Human Services John Damon, CEO of Canopy Children’s Solutions Dr. Daniel Edney, State Health Officer Heather Garrett, Teacher and Science Chair at Brandon Middle School Joy Hogge, Executive Director for Families as Allies Emily Johnson, Clinical Psychologist Sarah Jones, Counselor at Jones College Melody Madaris, Executive Director at Communicare Mental Health Center Representative Missy McGee, Chairwoman of House Medicaid Heidi Nelson, USM Director of Student Counseling Representative Donnie Scoggin, Chairman of House Universities & Colleges Kate McMillin, Director of the Office of Mental Health for the Division of Medicaid Lynda Stewart, Director of the Division of Children and Youth Services for the Department of Human Services Julie Thornton, Head Nurse of the Pearl Public School District Jonathan Tritley, School Psychologist at the Jackson County School District John Robert Walker, Student Member of the Mississippi Youth Council Karla Weir, Assistant Professor in the Mississippi State University Counselor Education Department

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