BRISTOL, Fl. (WMBB) — Liberty County is the latest to try and fight drug addiction in its county jail. The Sheriff’s Office has received a grant to hire a counselor to deal with mental health problems or substance abuse.

Recently Liberty County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Northwest Florida Health Network to create a mental health coordinator position. Authorities said the role will help people with substance abuse or mental health issues find help before things take a turn for the worst.

“A lot of that crime is created through mental health problems and substance abuse problems,” Northwest Florida Health Network CEO Mike Watkins said.

Northwest Florida Health Network has similar programs in eight other Panhandle counties. Officials said a grant worth just over $58,000 in Liberty could change people’s lives. 

“For a long period of time, we didn’t have anywhere to send people for services when it comes to drugs in a small town, small county, you see it on a daily basis,” Liberty County Sheriff Buddy Money said.

Physician outreach coordinator Tiffany Cessna said many people struggle with mental health issues in the rural county.

“It could mean the world for somebody if they feel like they don’t have anything here,” Cessna said. “It’s kind of isolated in Liberty County You’re surrounded by national forests and you’re 50 miles from the nearest town.”

Cessna said people can call the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office or contact them on Facebook to learn more.