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    Winter Park is a small suburban city in Orange County, Florida. While the suburban city is rather picturesque and quiet, with a population of only 27,000 residents, Winter Park, and Orange County, Florida as a whole suffer from the same lack of funding for mental health that plagues the rest of the state of Florida. According to a report by the Central Florida Community Benefit Collaboration (CFCBC), Florida ranks 50th of 50 states in the amount of government funding it receives for public support. This lack of funding greatly impacts the efficiency and availability of mental and substance abuse health services throughout the entire state. This is especially problematic when you consider the aging population of Florida’s residents and the increase in the number of dementia patients state-wise in the last two decades. Mental health disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Health Human Services. 60-percent of those with mental health conditions in the Florida are met with a complete lack of care, or less care than needed when compared at a national level to states that receive appropriate funding.

    Positive health indicators are lower than nationwide average of drinking, drug use and suicide amongst high school-aged children (according to the CFCBC report).

    As far as mental health, there seem to be signs of a direct relation between race and mental health in Orange County (as well as surrounding areas). This has been linked to a lower rate of government funded or subsidized mental health services in lower wealth neighborhoods that are predominately African-American or Hispanic. For example, chart 32 in the CFCBC report tells us that while white and black citizens self-reported approximately the same amount of poor mental health day (9.7 and 6.7% respectively), the Latino community reported more than double (23.4%) the amount of poor mental health days. In addition, the income gap also helps to support the disparity in mental health services availability, as the very same chart shows that the number of mental health days decrease dramatically (sometimes as much as double) based on the income grouping, starting at 21.3% for those that make less than $25,000 annually, and falling to 7% for those who earn wages of over $50,000 per annum. Chart 35 reports more of the same, with charts showing the percentage of various racial, educational and income groups who received social or emotional support when needed (again, self reported). The same trend proves true in parents seeking help for their children. This report from Professional Research Consultants, Inc. shows that awareness and perceived availability of mental health resources varies depending on demographics such as age, income level, and education.

    If you or a loved one live in Winter Park, Florida, Orange County, or the Tri-Counties region, we have mental health therapists that are here to help you. Find a therapist in your area, that specializes in the treatment that you or a loved one need, all on the easy to use directory here at TherapyTribe.