Desoto County NewsMississippi News

Mental Health Task Force sets meeting dates, asks for public input

July 1 – The first hearing dates for the K-12 and Postsecondary Mental Health Task Force, established by Senate Bill 2727, are set for July 17-18. Committee members will hear testimony on the current state of child and adolescent mental health in Mississippi and catalog public resources available in the state today.

The 24-member Task Force will be chaired by Rep. Rob Roberson and Sen. David Parker. Roberson is chairman of the House Education Committee and Parker is a member of the Senate Education Committee, designated by Senate Education Chairman Dennis DeBar to serve as his proxy.

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

Roberson agreed.

“After this first meeting, we plan on branching out to other non-profits and experts outside of government. In the meantime, we invite the public to send in their written testimony to,”  he said.

 Other members of the Task Force include:

  • Dr. Jonathan Baker, UMMC Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
  • Sen. Kevin Blackwell, Chairman of Senate Medicaid
  • Sen. Nicole Boyd, Chairwoman of Senate Universities & Colleges
  • Sen. Hob Bryan, Chairman of Senate Public Health & Welfare
  • Wendy Clemons, Associate Superintendent at the Mississippi Department of Education
  • Rep. 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
  • Rep. Missy McGee, Chairwoman of House Medicaid
  • Heidi Nelson, USM Director of Student Counseling
  • Rep. 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