Where to go when someone needs mental health help

By Tammie Fields, Anchor
Last Updated: Monday, August 28, 2017, 6:35 PM EDT

A childhood friend of the man accused of shooting and killing two Kissimmee Police officers says he feels a sense of failure.

Mark Greene, who grew up with Miller, wishes he and his high school classmates could have done more to help Everett Glenn Miller with his mental health struggles after Miller’s years of military service.

According to Regeus Brinson, a friend of Miller’s, the veteran struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder.

It’s an issue a lot of people in Central Florida face: How do you get help for someone who needs mental health services?

Officials at one of the oldest mental health nonprofits in the state of Florida say you don't have to spend a lot of time calling a lot of different agencies for help.

Charlotte Melton is the vice president of the Mental Health Association of Central Florida. She says their motto is, “It’s OK to get help.”

Greene grew up with Miller and both graduated from Gateway High School in Kissimmee.

“He was a very funny, comical kid growing up, the kind of kid that everyone seemed to get along with," Greene said Monday.

Greene is now a pastor in St. Petersburg. He says Glenn, as they called him, dedicated his life to military service, serving for more than 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

"Sometimes, we don't recognize that people are struggling with issues. We have a way of discounting it as something that's short term or temporary or the mood at the moment, but we don't recognize that people are struggling," Greene said. "We don't always know how to respond to what's happening."

Connection specialists at the Mental Health Association of Central Florida say they know how to help friends, family and co-workers who want to help but may not know where to start. The nonprofit has been helping people since 1946.

"They can guide the caller through the process of what's available out there. Is the service available just talk therapy... or are there different types of therapy they might be interested in or is it time to consider medication?" Melton said.

Besides referring you to local mental health providers, they can offer assistance to those without financial resources or even transportation.

Melton said the bottom line is to get help — whether you need it or someone close to you needs it.

Investigators have not said whether Miller was ever formally diagnosed with PTSD, but, “I personally felt a sense of failure," Greene said. "We all know someone who served who needs someone to listen to them," he said.

To reach the Mental Health Association of Central Florida, go to their website or call 407-898-0110 or after hours, dial 211.

Help is out there

Where you can go to take the first step: