Shown are all the organizations and programs striving together to help individuals figure out what support they might need for their mental health.

Through a partnership with AdventHealth, BayCare, Tampa General Hospital, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and USF Health, and support from the Hillsborough County Commission, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation, Tampa Bay Thrives recently announced new access points for individuals seeking short-term appointments for their mental health. 

The Let’s Talk line, which launched last year, provides the first step in helping callers figure out what support they might need for their mental health. This new extension to service now has several additional options to connect directly to help, including:

Short-term telehealth bridge counseling for individuals facing long wait times to get into their first appointment. This service is provided by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and University of South Florida’s Department of Psychiatry.

An appointment at one of 10 local AdventHealth Express Care at Walgreens locations where a staff member will assess needs and provide referral to a telehealth counselor for additional support.

A referral to a licensed counselor at Tampa General’s Urgent Care powered by Fast Track on Water Street in Tampa to help navigate next steps.

A connection to a licensed clinical social worker at Northside Behavioral Health Center who will provide in-person help to pave the path to feeling better.

All of these options are available by calling Let’s Talk at 844-YOU-OKAY (844-968-6529). It is a free, confidential support line for mental health that is available 24/7.

“The process of finding help and waiting for your first appointment can be an overwhelming process,” said Carrie Zeisse, president and CEO of Tampa Bay Thrives. “We are grateful for the vision and commitment of our community leaders who have come together to add additional access points for mental health support.”

Colony Reeves, star of Netflix’s Selling Tampa, was announced as an ambassador of Tampa Bay Thrives and shared that she has sought help for depression and still sees a therapist.

“What you see is a mask,” said Reeves. “Many people have masks on to hide what they’re going through or what they have been through. And more people have masks on than we know.

According to Mental Health America, Florida ranks 49th in the country in terms of access to mental health services. Also, roughly 64 percent of Floridian adults with mental illness, over 1.8 million people in total, are going untreated, an estimated 54 percent of whom are covered by insurance.

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