Orange County study finds $49 million in resources needed to address mental health care gaps – WFTV

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County is considering a $49 million issue to help address gaps in its mental health care.

That’s according to a $300,000 study commissioned by the county and conducted by a consultant and United Way.

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Resource gaps, according to the study, create a revolving door in our local hospitals and prisons.

The study presents 16 recommendations to bring about real change in the way the community cares for the mentally ill.

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There are 1.4 million people in Orange County and 20% are believed to have mental illness. Currently, there are only enough resources to treat 40% of them.

“It takes a whole village to raise a baby. It’s kind of the same thing, it takes a village to heal,” said mental health advocate Anastasia Soileau.

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Officials said the implementation team will review existing budgets and allocations through the various community stakeholder organizations and see if there is an opportunity to realign existing dollars.

And new funds could come from federal, state and private sector revenues.

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Channel 9 investigative reporter Daralene Jones has spent the past two months researching the mental health crisis. You can watch the results of his investigation in a special “Jailing the Mentally Ill” report, starting Thursday on Eyewitness News.

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