Seminole County sheriff, organizations aim to open 24/7 facility for mental illness

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Last year, the Seminole County sheriff helped to establish the hope and healing center for individuals who battle opioid addiction.

Now, he is hoping to do the same thing when it comes to those suffering from mental illness.

Sheriff Dennis Lemma said about 300 people are Baker Acted in Seminole County every month, and a lot of those people are repeat offenders who are in mental crises and shouldn’t be Baker Acted; they just need help.

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Lemma, along with a team of vested individuals and organizations such as Aspire Health are working to open a new crisis stabilization center in Fern Park.

Law enforcement will work in tandem with licensed clinical social workers to provide services 24/7.

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Lemma is working to get around $9 million in American Rescue Relief funds from county commissioners to help address the problem.

Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

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