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Polk County’s Behavioral Health and Mental Wellness Budget Experiences Significant Growth

Published on May 17, 2023

BARTOW, Fla. (May 17, 2023) – Polk County’s behavioral health and mental wellness funding fiscal year 2022-23 totals $15.8 million. This is a 117% increase over fiscal year 2021-22.

“Polk County’s staff members have done a great job securing assistance for Polk’s residents,” said Polk County Commissioner Martha Santiago. “These funds are used to aid people facing challenges. The county is focused on increasing the behavioral health and mental wellness assistance options for Polk County’s medically vulnerable residents.”

Polk’s behavioral health and mental wellness funding comes from four sources:

  • A voter-approved half-cent sales tax accounts for $13 million of this year’s budget.
  • Federal and state funding makes up for $1.7 million.
  • Polk has received more than $4 million in opioid settlement funding to date, with $1 million budgeted for this fiscal year.
  • The County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Trust Fund accounts for $22,400.

The half-cent sales tax funding enables Polk County’s Indigent Health Care services to administer a local healthcare safety net program. Grants from the federal and state governments allow for an expansion of behavioral health services. The opioid dollars, meanwhile, will be spent on opioid abatement, including prevention efforts, treatment and recovery services.

Behavioral health and mental wellness services are available a little or no cost for qualified Polk County residents. These services include visits with professional therapists and treatment programs for substance use disorder. For more information, contact Indigent Health Services at 863-533-1111 or visit