ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — UCF Restores, the University’s nonprofit clinical research center and treatment clinic, now provides free bilingual telehealth mental therapy sessions to residents of Azalea Park.

What You Need To Know

  • UCF Restores now provides free bilingual telehealth mental therapy sessions to residents of Azalea Park

  • The program is possible thanks to an Orange County CARES Act grant

  • The money went toward iPads with hotspots so residents can participate in therapy sessions

The program is possible because of an Orange County CARES Act grant.

The money went toward iPads with hotspots so residents can take part in the therapy sessions. The iPads are located in several buildings in Azalea Park including Iglesia Episcopal Jesus de Nazaret/Christ the King Episcopal Church on 26 Willow Dr, Orlando, FL 32807.

Several in the Azalea Park community, like Benjamin Casillas, moved there after Hurricane Maria displaced them. Casillas, like many in the area, has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We got close friends, brothers, and sisters, who came to the church and we got probably like seven people who got COVID and we lost three of them,” Casillas said.

“They were still trying to get back on their feet [after Hurricane Irma and Maria] and with COVID it really hit home again,” Yemanja Krasnow UCF Restores senior clinician said.

The Florida Health Department reports there are almost 5,000 coronavirus cases in the two zip codes Azalea Park belongs to

UCF Restores also posts videos in English and Spanish on stress management to help viewers sleep and deal with their anxiety and depression. 

“Not everyone is ready for therapy but sometimes we’re ready to watch a video in the privacy of our own home,” Krasnow said.

Krasnow also said there are plans to start group grief sessions where people who lost their job, a loved one or dealing with stress can meet and discuss their issues. The grief support group sessions will be socially distant where the attendees are six-feet away from each other and they use the iPads to speak with Krasnow. 

Anyone seeking coronavirus related counseling can call 407-823-1805.