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Orlando, Florida is located in Orange County and is a popular tourist destination. Home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, and hundreds of other attractions, the city boasts a population of 249,5621 and welcomes more than 51 million visitors2 from around the world each year.

Mental Health Statistics
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Program’s (SAMH) Central Region serves the greater Orlando area. SAMH reported that in 2011 and 2012, over 52,000 adults and 21,000 children in the region received mental health services. Another 24,000 adults and 13,000 youth were aided with substance abuse treatment through SAMH during that same time period3.

Orlando Takes STEPS to Provide Help for Families
Working in collaboration with the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Orange County, Orlando works hard to provide comprehensive mental health services to all its residents. DCF offers resources and programs tailored toward adults, at-risk youth, veterans, the elderly, and those living with disabilities or HIV/AIDS. The city also places a strong emphasis on strengthening the family and reducing substance abuse by delivering a variety of programs to individuals needing help in those areas.

Help for families is delivered through the Neighborhood Centers for Families (NCF), which offer multiple avenues of assistance, including family support, health services, and counseling. As an adjunct to NCF, The Center for Drug Free Living F.O.C.U.S. service allows those with substance use issues the opportunity to participate in individual, family, or group therapy. This service is also responsible for crisis intervention and educates families on positive family interactions, teaching them how to live healthy, productive lives. F.O.C.U.S. operates on community and school-wide levels so that all of those needing services can be reached.

In an effort to ensure the well-being and safety of the most vulnerable Orlando residents, The Children’s Home Society was implemented to provide extensive services to those facing crises or overwhelming life events. Through brief therapy, staff members help individuals cope with grief, family problems, mental health issues, life-change adjustments, and parent-child relationships. With the help of NCF, these services are brought directly to the community through outreach programs.

Specialized Treatment, Education and Prevention Services, Inc. (STEPS) keeps Orlando’s commitment to helping individuals with mental illness moving forward by focusing on prevention. Using numerous resources, STEPS helps those dealing with mental illness access the services they need. Community-delivered outlets are available so that all individuals and families can receive help with mental health issues4.

Orange County also focuses on offering continuing care to children with mental illnesses. Wraparound Orange is part of the county’s ongoing effort to ensure these children and their families are provided with access to resources including treatment, family therapy, medical help, interventions, and advocacy. Children who qualify for this service are able to receive care under the National Federation of Families, the organization that helped establish Wraparound Orange5.

1 U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. (2013). State & County QuickFacts. Retrieved from

2 Visit Orlando: The Official Source for Orlando Information. (2013). Orlando FAQs. Retrieved from

3 Florida Department of Children and Families. (2013). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Plan 2014-2016. Retrieved from

4 Orange County Government, Florida. (2013). Family Support Services. Retrieved from

5 Orange County Government, Florida. (2013). Children’s Mental Health. Retrieved from