Bay District Schools Student Wellness Programs


Florida Senate Bill (SB) 7026, cited as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, created the mental health assistance allocation to provide funding to assist school districts in establishing school-based mental health services.  SB 7030 (2019) enhanced the school safety and security requirements established in Senate Bill (SB) 7026 (2018) by addressing the legislative recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSDHS) Public Safety Commission.  To support the mental health needs of our students and to meet these requirements, Bay District Schools (BDS) established the Bay District Schools Student Wellness Programs.

Bay District Schools Student Wellness Teams are dedicated to providing educationally relevant support to ensure positive learning outcomes.  We do this through-

  • The use of norm-referenced universal screeners to identify students who may be at risk for poor learning outcomes due to social, academic, or behavioral factors.  Specifically, K-5 teachers complete a screener based on simple observation of students in their classroom.  In grades 6 and 9 (two transitional grades where we see high disciplinary issues, students complete the screener.)   If, using either screener, a student is identified as at risk of poor learning outcomes, support starts with a simple check-in from a school counselor.   

  • The  Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS).  MTSS is a term used to describe an evidence-based model of instruction that uses data-based problem solving to integrate academic and behavioral interventions.  There are three tiers to support that are fully explained HERE.  When MTSS support goes beyond what is provided for all students, then parent/guardians communication is key.  Parents/guardians are involved in collaborative efforts to improve the academic success of their child and will be provided information relating to the strategies implemented to support their student.

  • The completion of required instructional topics that are in accordance with HB 519, 1003.42 F. S., HB 7, 1011.62 F. S., and Rule: 6A-1.094124.  

    • “Life Skills that build confidence, support mental and emotional health, and enable students to overcome challenges, including self-awareness and self-management, responsible decision making, resiliency, relationship skills, and conflict resolution, and understanding and respecting each other viewpoints and backgrounds.” (Florida DOE memo, July 1, 2022)  

    • 5 hours of mental-emotional health education (grades 6-12), child trafficking prevention (k-12), and substance abuse education (k-12) using the following curriculums:  Monique Burr Child Safety Matters (k-5), Freedom 180/Real Essentials Curriculum (grades 6-12), EverFi (grades 6-12),  and Botvin Life Skills (grades 5-8).  

  • Upon parental or guardian request and consent, the delivery of evidence-based mental health care assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery services to students with one or more mental health or co-occurring substance abuse diagnoses and to students at high risk of such diagnoses. 

  • Upon parental or guardian request and consent,  the use of a Community of Care (CofC) referral process to coordinate services via a partnership with our community-based providers.   BDS is dedicated to supporting our community with a whole child approach to assist with mental health needs.

Finally, Bay District Schools complies with notification responsibilities as outlined in HB1557.  


Please contact your student's school counselor or the Director of Student Wellness Programs at 767-4100  for more information.  If you need immediate assistance please call 911.

Florida Department of Education Required Instruction for Child Trafficking Prevention, Substance Abuse Education, and Mental Emotional Health Education - DOE Description (HERE).
BDS Required Instruction Documentation (HERE)
BDS Mental Health Allocation Plan (HERE)
For Immediate Assistance and Support

Call 911 to reach Emergency Medical Services

If the situation is potentially life-threatening, get immediate emergency assistance by calling 911, available 24 hours a day.


New! 998: Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Call or text 998 to access support for anyone experiencing  a mental health or substance use crisis or any other emotional distress.

Additional information about the new Suicide and Crisis Lifeline HERE.

1-850-522-4485 for Life Management Center’s 24-Hour Mental Health Crisis Line 

Life Management Center’s Emergency Services professionals are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide crisis counseling or conduct emergency mental health evaluations that include suicide assessment and examination for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.


1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 for SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline

24/7, 365-day-a--year, this national hotline is dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. 

National Crisis Hotline Resources

National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453 (4-A-CHILD)

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE); TTY 1-800-787-3224

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)

National Teen Dating Violence Hotline: 1-866-331-9474; Text “loveis” to 77054

Local Community Based Mental Health Resources

Go Online to access 850MentalHealth 

2-1-1 is a FREE service provided by United Way that connects area residents to critical health and social service resources.


Local Resource Guide

Live Binder:

This resource allows the mental health community providers of Florida to offer support and resources collectively and locally, emphasizing mental health awareness and assistance to Bay Districts and surrounding communities. As a “live binder,” this resource will be actively reviewed and updated accordingly throughout the school year. 

Florida Department of Education Behavioral Health Assessment:

Florida Department of Education Suicide Prevention:


1311 Balboa Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401
(850) 767-4100
Mark McQueen
Superintendent, Bay District Schools
Office of the Superintendent
Holly Buchanan
Employment and Income Verification Equity Coordinator
Public Records Request