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Update: Yearlong Emergency Grant for UCF Restores Clinic in Azalea Park Ends

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Dr. Deborah Beidel and Father José Rodríguez stand in front of a picture of the word "Restores" written on a beach in Puerto Rico. Photo: Danielle Prieur

The yearlong emergency grant that UCF Restores received from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to open a clinic for Hurricane Maria and Irma evacuees ended last month.

90.7 WMFE spoke with Restores Director Dr. Deborah Beidel and Father José Rodríguez about how they’ll continue to offer mental health services at The Episcopal Church of Jesus of Nazareth in Azalea Park. 

Since the clinic opened in March of  last year, two Spanish-speaking, culturally competent therapists have provided PTSD and other mental health services to single people and families dealing with trauma from the storms.

Beidel says Restores will continue to offer these services both at the church and at the main site on the UCF campus.

“Our intensive outpatient program is available. We’re going to be setting up a telehealth program, so that people who maybe can’t even leave their homes easily are going to be able to connect with therapists from UCF via telehealth.”

Rodríguez says his staff are also better trained to know where to send patients for help if they are in a crisis.

“What’s been left behind is it’s ok to talk about mental health. What’s been left behind is my staff is now trained on how to talk about mental health and tell people ‘I’m not a mental health expert. I’m not going to help you. But here’s a business card. Call this number, they’ll reach out to you.’ So we’ve been given the tools to reach out to our own community.”

Rodríguez says because of the success of this partnership, the church will be the site of a three-year long longitudinal study on Latinx health conducted by the University of Miami, the University of Florida, and Boston University.

To revisit the Intersection episode host Matthew Peddie recorded when the clinic first opened, click on the link. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »