Mental Health Association of Central Florida


#GivingTuesday #ItsOkaytoGetHelp!

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A huge thank you to our donors! Your support makes the Mental Health Association’s life saving programs possible.

#GivingTuesday gives us a great opportunity to reach out about the impact your donations make on the Central Florida Community. It’s Okay to Get Help, and MHACF is here to make that possible. So many people in central Florida don’t know where or how to access the services they need. MHACF is here to help. We can connect families to resources, train you on patients’ rights and self-advocacy, as well as support central Florida directly with our Outlook Clinic.

$50 covers a Scholarship for a family member to become a Certified Guardian Advocate for their loved ones.

Lisa Eller, Family Member

The Baker Act can be such a scary time for patients in crisis and their families. A key to success is education. We provide and in depth face to face training on the Baker Act and patient rights. Lisa’s experiences highlight how integral this step can be, “If i hadn’t actually been here in the training program I would not have learned the things that helped me guide my brothers treatment.” Once connected to MHACF you become part of our family, we are here for you. As Lisa and her brother’s journey continued she mentioned, “These did follow up and put me back together as a whole person when I was sitting there looking at my brother.”

An interview with family member Lisa Eller and Guardian Advocate trainer Charlotte Melton.

$300 recruits, trains, and places a volunteer Guardian Advocate with a patient who has no one

The Baker Act is often painful and stressful, the hardest is when a patient doesn’t have any friends or family. MHACF meets the need of 600 such individuals each year.

Coralys commented on her experience as a Guardian Advocate; “My favorite memory from volunteering as a guardian advocate was when I was saying goodbye to my first client. She told me how grateful she was to have had me help her and that I was like the granddaughter she never had. She cried when she said good bye and gave me the tightest hug. During the eight weeks I worked with her, I saw her transform from a very quiet, depressed person to someone who would smile every time I came in. Full of laughter and always making jokes. That difference I made will always stay with me.”

$1,800 funds a year of treatment for 5 patients at the Outlook Clinic, the only free clinic for mental health in Orange County.

Patient, Wanda Hernandez

This Free Clinic for Depression and Anxiety is made possible by a collaboration with The Mental Health Association of Central Florida Inc., Florida Hospital, Walgreens, Orange County Government,University of Central Florida, Rollins College, and Catamaran.  Patients that qualify receive individual counseling, group counseling, med management, and medications at a reduced cost of $4 or even free. Over a thousand Orange county residents have already benefited from the Outlook Clinic in its short five years. Wanda, pictured above, appreciates the chance to get back on her feet after a challenging medical condition. Two years later she is strong and a true champion for wellness as you can see in a video of our Outlook Clinic’s 5 year anniversary.

Thank you donors! These and other programs are made possible by your support and donation.

Guardian Advocate Family Scholarship

Guardian Advocate Volunteer Recruit, Train, and Place

A Year of Outlook Clinic Treatment for 5 Patients

 Please consider donating to MHACF. Any donation is greatly appreciated! You are a part of the good we do.

Visit for more details on the programs MHACF offers.

Pay with PayPal 

Project Cheer

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Hello everyone!

We have recently launched a wonderful campaign called Project Cheer!

The aim of Project Cheer is to provide gift and care bags to patients at Aspire, a local behavioral
hospital, during the holiday season. The holiday season is stressful for most people, but if you suffer from mental health challenges it can be particularly difficult.  Our intention is to offer hope where it is needed the most.

On any given day there are 180 patients in the mental health units at the local hospitals.

We need your help! This is a team effort and we need the support from the community to spread joy and hope to those who often go over-looked, but need it the most. If you would like to donate, please visit or visit our amazon wishlist

Thank you!

Useful Apps for Substance Abuse & Recovery

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Here are a list of apps that can help individuals monitor themselves from addiction, substance abuse and recovery. These tools are designed to assist an individual to keep a log in and track their progress report and incorporate into their daily lifestyle.

Name of App Platform/Cost Features
AA Big Book and More iPhone–FREE Big Book texts, sobriety tracker and daily encouraging messages.
Addicaid:  Addiction Recovery iphone, Android–FREE App to begin/maintain addiction recovery.   Find meetings, track progress, connect with others.
Addiction Tracker Android–FREE Tracks how long and how much you were addicted, monitors non-usage, tracks with logs & graphs of various addictions:   drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, smoking, food, watching TV, etc.
Affirmations Android–FREE Positive affirmations to change negative thought patterns.
Afternoon Affirmations iPhone–FREE A daily message of affirmation is sent each day at 1pm.
Biblical Encouragement — Drug Addiction iPhone–$0.99 Select emotion that is felt (tempted, backsliding, lonely, missed goal and other feelings commonly associated with recovery) and a relevant Bible verse to that emotion with commentary is provided.
Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous Android–FREE Android’s version of AA Big Book and More listed above.
Bridge by FMA (Father Martin’s Ashley) Android–FREE Able to post messages and connect with others, newsfeed, links to useful resources and weekly video casts of inspiring messages.
Cassava iPhone, Android–FREE Listing of nearby support groups, monitor your moods & activities, track your daily progress, motivational articles and daily reflections, journaling and daily survey (nutrition, sleep, relationships, stress management, etc.).
Clean & Sober Recovery Android–FREE Companion to 12 Step program.   Sobriety calculator and inspirational quotes.
Drinking Mirror iPhone–$0.99, Android–FREE Upload a photo and number of drinks consumed daily–app will show what user will look like in 10 years based upon alcoholic consumption.
Drug Addiction iPhone, Android–FREE Basically an “encyclopedia” of everything there is to know regarding drug addiction, sobriety, self-esteem, 12-steps; various drugs discussed.  Motivational quotes.
Happify iPhone, Android–FREE Games of various categories to elevate your mood.   Positivity will help you overcome any challenge.
I Am Sober iPhone, Android–$1.99 Journaling & Goals–also electronic buddy system to remind you daily of goals & progress.
IMQuit Android–FREE Tracks progress and you can set targets/goals; allows trackers for multiple addictions.
Mindfulness Meditation iPhone, $2.99–Android, $0.99 Encourages uses to take a break, set a meditation time and start relaxing; mindfulness is proven to be efficient in the treatment of addiction to aid in focusing on recovery.
My Narcotics Anonymous Toolkit (NAT) iPhone, Android–FREE The 12-step program including features for journaling, gratitude list, spot check inventories (anger, resentment), clean calculator/tracker and anonymous icon.
Narcotics Anonymous Speakers Android–FREE Speakers/audio track (sharings) of NA meetings.
New2Recovery iPhone, Android–FREE Checks in with emotions and thoughts–can share these with people in your network and sponsors.  Helps to regulate positive choices.
No More! Quit Your Addictions Android–FREE Tracker, support shortcuts, motivational quotes.
Overdose Aware iPhone–FREE Different signs and symptoms of overdoses of depressant, stimulant, opioid and alcohol overdose.
PTSD Coach iPhone, Android–FREE Info about PTSD, tools to identify PTSD and relaxation techniques.
RCMP Drug Awareness iPhone, Android–FREE Information about wide variety of drugs & related trends across Canada (can be applicable to US also) including prescription meds and steroids.
Recoverize Android–FREE Daily AA and NA readings, chat room, recovery stories, meditation, tracker of sober time, chat with other members, daily recovery to-do list.   Companion app to 12-step program.
Sober Grid iPhone, Android–FREE Shows app users within certain vicinity to offer support via message.  Can be anonymous.
Sober Tool iPhone, Android–FREE Geared for relapse prevention.   Not only tracks time of sobriety but also calculates money you have saved.  Motivational messages & notifications.
Sobriety Clock iPhone, Android–FREE Tracker that shows how far you’ve come…shows the importance of each second of sobriety.  Motivational quotes and the 12 Steps.
Sobriety Counter Android–FREE Tracker; including last drink to hour & minute; also option to add sponsor(s) .
Squirrel Recovery Android–FREE It sets up a recovery circle with sober support people that you choose, personal check in times for the app to check in when using was most likely to occur. A Panic button bypasses all check ins so that help can be given immediately. Includes tracker of sober days and motivational quotes.
T2 Mood Tracker iPhone, Android–FREE Tracks emotional experience; comes with six pre-loaded issues: anxiety, depression, general well-being, head injury, post-traumatic stress, and stress. You can also add customized scales on any topic (e.g., a pain scale or triggers).

Real Treatment Is Still Necessary

While the apps can be useful tools to help a person track their advancement in recovery,  these tools should not be the only resolution for treatment.  It is still necessarily to seek out for resources to get the support and help they need.  These applications cannot replace a therapist or a person who is well educated and can continue to guide them in the right direction.

Mental Health Connections Specialists

At the Mental Health Association Of Central Florida, we are happy to do the research and provide referrals to anyone that needs access to treatment for free!

To find resources, please contact us at 407-898-0110

Five Ways to Make Your Friday Even Better

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Happy Friday!  Our favorite day of the week is finally upon us.  Heading into this last work day of the week, we wanted to provide you with a few ways to make your day even more fantastic!

According to WebMD, stretching can help improve your circulation and flexibility, and may help ease the tight muscles that come with stress.  Take a minute or two throughout the day to get up, walk around, and loosen up those muscles!  Not sure what to do?  An example can be found here.

Eat Citrus
It’s not a secret that we here at MHACF love our oranges and citrus!  You can catch us every fourth Friday of the month during citrus season hitting the streets with our oranges, spreading smiles and cheer. Did you know that oranges contain choline, which is an important nutrient found in oranges that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory?  Who doesn’t need help with that on a Friday after a long week?


Pour Extra Creamer in Your Coffee
Who needs a reason why?  It’s Friday, you deserve it!

Go For a Walk
Not a coffee drinker?  How about a walk instead?  It has been proven that a short walk can boost your circulation and wake up the mind which can help beat that afternoon sluggish feeling.

Say Thank You
Practicing gratitude is a great way to boost your positive mental health, increase feelings of happiness, makes us healthier, and can boost our career, along with many more benefits! created a list of 31 benefits of practicing gratitude, which you can read here.

What We’re Working On: BTS

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We’re currently working on a social media campaign to encourage people to reach out to Governor Rick Scott and advocate for change in legislation.  Florida is currently 49th in the nation for mental health funding, and this year there was many funding cuts to medical care.  One of the big topics of conversation since April has been the veto of Medicaid expansion, which could have expanded Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of Floridians.

A special committee is being organized to create and execute a social media marketing plan to bring awareness to the dire need for better access to mental health and medical care.

In Orlando?  Have ideas? Join us tomorrow!
In Orlando? Have ideas? Join us tomorrow!

On Friday, August 21st, we’re having an open meeting at our office to brainstorm ideas for this upcoming campaign.  Interested in joining us?  Let us know here or email Sarah at

Orange You Happy I’m Here?

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Examples from OYHIH? 2014
Examples from OYHIH? 2014

We are excited to announce our 2nd annual “Orange You Happy I’m Here?” campaign.  Last year we had over 60 people submit their photos to us, stating reasons why they are happy, proud, inspired, or things they may have not been able to accomplish if they weren’t here.  I have attached a collage of some of last year’s participants and messages to spark some ideas.

Send your photo (and a short description of your story, if you want) to by Sept 8th to be featured in this year’s album!   We are aiming for a bigger album this year!  Help us spread awareness and happiness.

Hashtags for the event: #OYHIH2015 #MHACF #ItsOkaytoGetHelp

This project was created in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day on 09/10,  & to celebrate the return of Orange You Happy in October!

Hello world!

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Welcome to the blog for the Mental Health Association of Central Florida!  Come here for updates, news, fun facts, and more!  Happy reading!