Dear County Team Member,

Thank you for your patience and continued support as we began the first phase of Florida’s Recovery Plan under Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-112 . Effective today, hair salons, barbershops and nail salons are permitted to open and the curfew for Orange County is no longer in effect.

Additionally, we are continuing to expand testing sites throughout the County. Visit www.ocfl.net/COVID-19 for information about the variety of testing options available. Many sites are free or have no out-of-pocket expense, and you do not need to have any symptoms to be tested.  Increasing testing allows us to help as many people as possible in order to pinpoint and track cases, as well as take other safety measures to protect others.

Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of those living with mental health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many experience. While the research shows many of us will experience a mental illness during our lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can significantly have an impact on our mental health. This is especially true lately as we all continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we all are juggling the stresses of our jobs, family and other life issues during this difficult time, it is also very important to take care of ourselves. Making yourself and your well-being a priority will allow you to be your best self in providing for and helping others.

As a County employee, you have access to a plethora of mental health resources, including our Employee Assistance Program through GuidanceResources. This free service provides access to counseling services for both you and your family, as well as a vast array of tools and information that can apply to all aspects of your life. Additionally, as an alternative to traditional face-to-face counseling, GuidanceResources is a great resource for free virtual counseling services. They offer video counseling, telephone counseling, online chat with master’s-level intake clinicians and interactive tools and resources. Take advantage of this by visiting guidanceresources.com or calling 855-221-8925. To obtain the Web ID, check OrangeNet or email wellness@ocfl.net .

In observation of Mental Health Awareness Month, throughout May you will receive more information regarding tools that support strong mental health and, more importantly, are aimed to help you thrive. I encourage you to be intentional about taking some time for yourself, as well as utilizing the free resources available to you as an employee.

Please know the health and well-being of our employees remains a top priority. Your commitment and support are truly appreciated.
Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor signature