Central Florida expands Mental Health Services

Central Florida expands Mental Health Services

A 2021 survey by Orange County Mental and Behavioral Health Care System with partnership from Heart of Florida United Way found that, unsurprisingly, Florida’s mental health services systems are overwhelmed with people in need of care. Orange County’s Mental Health and Homelessness Division created a report with recommendations that were accepted and approved by Orange County’s Board of County Commissioners in 2022. Funding for this plan was announced June 6, 2023. 

Earlier this year Florida Hospital Association (FHA) reported that throughout their 82 facilities, 78,000 people were held under a Baker Act in a one year period. Many of these individuals have no support system to help with prevention or follow-up care. Furthermore, Florida averages one of the worst rates of mental health workers in the country, with one mental health workers per 550 patients. 

Responding to the need for more mental health professionals and expanded services, Orange County was granted $10 million to create new programs and strategies. The full report can be found here.

Many states have emergency mental health acts designed to assist with voluntary and involuntary emergency mental health care. In Florida, this mental health act is the Baker Act. Ross Counseling offers a 3 hour course describing the Baker Act processes and rules as stated in Florida law.