This year has been difficult for many due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which can lead to feelings of helplessness, depression or anxiety. Many Central Floridians are struggling with un- or under-employment for the first time, leading to difficulties paying bills or putting food on the table.
Surveys conducted in June by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 41% of adults surveyed “reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition.” According to the data, that’s a big increase. It shows the number of Americans with an anxiety disorder tripled by the same time last year and those with depression was four times higher.
Other struggles this year are related to racism and calls for social justice reform across the country. According to the American Psychological Association, “[d]iscrimination continues to be a source of stress for the majority of Black Americans. Two in three Black adults (67%) cite discrimination as a significant source of stress in their life, compared with 55% of Black adults who cited this in May–June. More than three in four Black adults (78%) agree that being their race is difficult in today’s society.”
September’s unemployment rate was 7.6% for Floridians, and nationwide, the economy is still about 10.7 million jobs short of recovering the 22 million jobs that were lost when the pandemic began.
That means many of those who may be in need of mental health services may not have the insurance-- or the finances-- to afford it.
Here’s a list of options in Central Florida for those who are looking for services that work with the un- or under-insured. Click on the center’s name to find details and to find out if you’re eligible.
IMPOWER is a nonprofit organization that assists and advocates in the areas of mental health, substance misuse and child well-being. They do accept insurance, but also, through grants, are able to provide some services for free. Mental health services are done on an outpatient basis and are primarily provided through Telehealth. That makes it a great option for someone who is unsure about, or worried about reaching out for counseling.
OUTLOOK CLINIC, MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
The Outlook Clinic treats patients with anxiety and/or depression with co-occurring medical conditions. It’s only available to uninsured individuals that meet certain criteria. Other immediate resources can be found here.
Aspire treats people suffering from mental health disorders or substance abuse regardless of their ability to pay. Call their Crisis Support Hotline at 407-875-3700 and press 2. They provide a variety of services, both in-patient and out-patient and serve Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake and Brevard counties.
They offer a variety of medical services, including mental health services at some locations. They accept traditional insurance, but uninsured families are offered services at discounted rates based on income and family size on a sliding-fee scale basis.
HEART OF FLORIDA HEALTH CENTERS
These centers serve Marion County residents and offer a variety of medical services including mental health services. Their goal is to provide access to care to those who would not otherwise be able to obtain them due to lack of insurance or financial limitations.
The Centers provides services for adults and children in Marion County. They do accept traditional insurance and some may qualify for financial assistance.
HEALTH CARE CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS
HCCH provides health and mental health services for anyone who is homeless and resides in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. HCCH also provides care for residents of Orange County who have a home but are uninsured and whose income falls below 200% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines. They do not accept private insurance, but do accept Medicaid, Medicare, Medipass, Wellcare, Staywell, Healthease, & Prestige Healthcare.