Orange County

Orlando considering expanding pilot program helping with mental health emergency calls

ORLANDO, Fla. — For the last seven months, a pilot program in the city of Orlando has helped those with mental health issues.

Instead of sending police officers to certain calls, mental health counselors de-escalate the situation and provide services that people may not be able to get for themselves.


The community response team’s pilot program, which launched in 2021, has so far helped 549 citizens in Orlando.

Well-being checks were added in July and the city is exploring the possibility of sending CRT members out with the fire department to overdose calls.

READ: Orlando launching pilot program to send mental health professionals to nonviolent calls for service

The Orlando Police Department said about 50% of the people helped follow through with appointments for care.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich,

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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