FSA offering group, individual recovery help  

Staff Report

In addition to its regular services, the Family Service Agency (FSA) is providing mental health counseling at a variety of locations and starting a support group in Santa Barbara to help people cope with the tragedies from the Montecito mudslides.

“We all process trauma differently,” said Executive Director Lisa Brabo. “Many people in our community are finding themselves, possibly for the first time in their lives, in need of support to cope with grief and loss as well as begin the recovery process. Our staff is working hard to support those affected through a variety of services.”

Brabo listed the following services:

n In collaboration with school districts and other agencies, FSA is providing counseling in classrooms and at compassion centers for campuses directly affected by the mudslides — Cleveland, Cold Springs and Santa Barbara High School — and has school counselors at campuses throughout the county. The FSA website (FSAcares.org) also has tips to help parents talk to their children about natural disasters.

n FSA is organizing a support group for adults, with counselors on hand to help people address their feelings of grief and loss and coach them through the recovery process. Sessions begin from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at FSA’s Santa Barbara Office at 123 W. Gutierrez St. For more information, call 805-965-1001.

n FSA counselors can work individually with people or families in working through the trauma. Call 805-965-1001 to ask for an appointment.

n As the Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Santa Barbara County, FSA has been helping with the evacuations and relocations of residents from long-term care facilities in Montecito. If you need help resolving issues or are concerned about the well-being of a loved one in a residential facility, call the LTCO program at 805-922-1236.

n Family Resource Centers help more 3,000 families with basic needs, parenting, and other challenges each year.  If the Thomas Fire or mudslides has generated a hardship for your family, call a family advocate at 805-965-1001.

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