ORLANDO, Fla. – The United States faces a growing mental health crisis, a problem made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly two in five American adults struggled with mental health issues in 2020 and only 46% received treatment.
Among children, 44% of parents reported concerns about their children’s mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, but only 16% looked for help for their kids.
In Florida, almost 41% of adults report symptoms of anxiety and depression, while only 24.8% get the help they need.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
There are nationwide and local hotlines, support groups and other resources available to help people, even if they do not have mental health coverage with insurance.
Here is a list of phone numbers, programs and groups available for the Central Florida area.
National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
This is a free 24/7 treatment referral and information service for those facing mental or substance use disorders, and for their families. The helpline is in English and Spanish.
The agency also has an online treatment locator on its website.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
This is a free 24/7 helpline for people who are suicidal or experiencing emotional distress. Trained crisis workers will talk to the caller, listen to their problems and provide any support they can.
National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine: 1-800-950-6264.
NAMI’s helpline is free and open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday. Helpline volunteers answer questions and suggest programs for people living with a mental health condition, families and caregivers. They do not provide mental health counseling or advice, or referrals to mental health providers.
The Mental Health Association of Central Florida: 407-898-0110.
The Mental Health Association of Central Florida has been around since 1946, and runs several programs to help people and families when dealing with mental health conditions. That includes a mental health clinic for the uninsured in Orlando, a mental health referral service for Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Brevard and Volusia counties, telehealth services and peer groups.
Central Florida Cares is the group that works with the state to provide mental health care services in Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Dialing 2-1-1 will connect you to a specialist who can help find the resources needed.
LSF Health Systems: 877-229-9098.
LSF Health Systems works with the state to provide mental health care services in 23 north-central Florida counties, including Flagler, Lake, Marion, Sumter and Volusia counties. Its 24/7 access to a care line can help you get connected to services in your area, regardless of whether you have health insurance. Among the services they have available are in-person counseling and telehealth services.
Brevard Health Alliance: Multiple locations.
This is a nonprofit health care group with several locations throughout Brevard County that provides health care in several areas, including behavioral health, regardless of the ability to pay.
Children’s Home Society: Multiple Locations
The Children’s Home Society offers mental health counseling at home, at school and online through telehealth, for uninsured, underinsured and Medicaid recipients. They have locations four locations across the Central Florida area. Even if they don’t have an office near you, you can call and see what help they can provide.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: Local Chapters
NAMI has local chapters across Florida that offer support groups, classes and other resources to help people cope with mental illness, whether it’s the patients or the families.
In Central Florida:
- NAMI Greater Orlando: Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties