A little less than a month after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, our community and the surrounding areas have come together in ways no one could have imagined. Especially our colleagues in the mental health field.
After a trauma like this one, counseling is a right that should be afforded to everyone. Our neighbors in Orlando have made sure that this is true. From free counseling services, to providing food and supplies to emergency responders, the response in our community was nothing short of amazing. Here are a few of our neighboring organizations in Orlando that have responded in wonderful ways in the wake of this tragedy. They certainly deserve our praise!The Center
The Center, a haven for the Central Florida LGBTQ community, is offering grief counseling in both English and Spanish. From counseling services, to giftcards sent to families and victims, The Center is offering a variety of services to the Orlando community affected by the Pulse shooting. Weekly “healthcare updates” are posted on The Center’s Facebook page with details for local counseling at absolutely no cost to those affected.
An emergency need for blood donation created an unbelievable response from the Orlando community. OneBlood donation centers were swarmed with blood donors ready to help in this time of need. A record 28,000 people donated blood in the weeks following the shooting.
Heart of Florida United Way
The Heart of Florida United Way has a 24/7 crisis line at 2-1-1, and the Victim Service Center of Central Florida has a hotline at 407-497-6701. HFUW offered free emotional support to anyone who sought it after the shooting. Residents in the Central Florida area interested in receiving counseling were able to simply call 211 or text their zip code to 898-211. For those who chose to stay home, HFUW had the ability for individuals to chat with counselors online at www.hfuw.org.
Somos Orlando, an organization specifically created with a bilingual staff to help families of undocumented victims affected by the shooting, was formed within hours of the shooting. The group’s mission is to offer services tailored to the Latino community. Counselors in the organization have made home visits to some of the survivors and families of the shooting victims who were afraid or unwilling to leave their homes. Other services provided include transportation and counseling.
These four examples only scrape the surface of all the services that were offered during this difficult time. A complete list of One Orlando’s counseling services can be found here.
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