Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 6:28 pm | Fair 52º

 
 
 
 

Hospice Helps Out With Special Counseling, Support Services

Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) has been at the forefront of helping to heal trauma and grief when tragedy strikes for decades, whether it was the shootings at UCSB or the Goleta Post Office, or now, the Thomas Fire and Montecito flood, HSB said.

What is particularly complicated about the recent disaster is nearly everyone in the community has been impacted in one way or another, HSB said.

More than 20 people have died and not only are their friends and family affected but their workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and churches are as well.

Local children have been particularly traumatized by fear about their own mortality and what all this means, hospice said. Tens of thousands of people had to be evacuated, people can’t get to work, and local businesses are suffering.

Because of the way it is structured, Hospice of Santa Barbara said it is able to immediately respond with programs and services to most any type of crisis in the area free of charge.

Hospice staff members can work from their offices and can be mobile with outreach teams. They can go into schools and workplaces as well as churches and emergency crisis centers.

“We are mindful of the shock and grief of so many people in the greater Santa Barbara area right now with two back-to-back disasters,” said David Selberg, CEO, Hospice of Santa Barbara.

“We are dealing with a variety of emotions across every age group and background and we will do all that is necessary to attend to everyone who needs our compassionate support,” he said.

In the wake of the recent disasters, Hospice is offering the following specialized counseling and support services to the community.All services are available in English and Spanish.

» Counseling and support for children, teens, and school staff on impacted school campuses.
» Individual and family counseling for family of the deceased.
» Support group for adults grieving the death of a friend or acquaintance.
» Support group for adult evacuees dealing with the stress of the experience.
» Support group for individuals experiencing the loss of an animal — pet loss support group.
» Counseling and patient-care services available in Carpinteria for individuals, families and students.

HSB has also been coordinating with local schools to help children cope with the news and or effects of the disaster. Additionally, services in Carpinteria will be offered though HSB’s new Compassionate Care of Carpinteria Initiative.

To donate to these community services, or for more about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call 563-8820 visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

— Caitlin Trude for Hospice of Santa Barbara.

 
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