Family Service Agency Helps Santa Barbara Community Recover

Santa Barbara, CA, January 18, 2018—In light of the recent tragedies that have impacted our community in the past week, Family Service Agency (FSA) announced that efforts to assist those affected by the recent natural disasters are on-going. In addition to its regular services, FSA is providing mental health counseling at a variety of locations and starting a support group in Santa Barbara.

“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.”

School Counseling

Our counselors are serving as an immediate mental health resource, meeting with students who are experiencing distress, helping them stabilize and activate coping skills/resources, and connecting them to more long-term psychotherapy if needed.  Working in collaboration with school districts and Behavioral Wellness, 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. However, we have school counselors located at campuses throughout the county. For more information about counseling for your child, contact your local school.

Additionally, there are tips on our website (FSAcares.org) that can help parents talk to their children about natural disasters.

Support Group

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

Individual or Family Counseling

FSA counselors can assist individuals and/or families in working through the trauma resulting from this recent natural disaster. Please call 805-965-1001 to ask for an appointment.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman

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

Family Resource Centers

Each year, our Family Resource Centers help over 3,000 families with basic needs, parenting, and other challenges.  If the Thomas Fire or mudslides have generated a hardship for your family, please contact a Family Advocate at 805-965-1001 today.

Additionally, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is working to support volunteers and parents work through the traumatic stress while building resiliency in the children we serve. Volunteer Big Brothers and Sisters who are affected by the recent natural disasters are reporting that spending time with their Little Brothers and Sisters allows for a bright spot in an otherwise frightening situation.

If anyone in this program needs additional support, please contact us at (805) 925-1100.

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