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Where to find mental health and trauma support in South Florida

A list of local and national resources for mental health and trauma support.
Katie Lepri Cohen
A list of local and national resources for mental health and trauma support.

This is an update of a story originally published on Aug 5, 2022.

Images and sounds circulating on social media and TV can trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, for people who've been through traumatic experiences. 

There are still resources available for those in South Florida affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who may be having a hard time. 

Dr. Jessica Ruiz is a psychologist with the Behavioral Health Associates of Broward, the counseling center for Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward. One of her specialties is therapies for PTSD and trauma. Her organization has received two grants from the local nonprofit Parkland Cares, so that people can seek out therapy regardless of their ability to pay. 

"We're social creatures. We want to know, we want to understand—a natural process of healing is to try and understand what's going on in different places," said Ruiz said. "Some of the video clips that were being shown on the news, you can hear sounds...those types of things can bring up memories to someone who was in a similar situation and bring up some intense feelings of anxiety."

In the years since the shooting, victims and their loved ones have continued to struggle with that tragic day.

Eagles’ Haven is a community wellness center designated for former, current, and future students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, along with their families and faculty. Three licensed clinicians are available on site for case management and can connect people to personalized therapy options. The center hosts pet therapy, mind and body workshops, as well as classes like yoga and healthy cooking.

The center is located at 5655 Coral Ridge Drive, Coral Springs 33076. It is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Counselors are available 24/7 by phone or email at eagleshaven@jafco.org. You can contact Eagles' Haven through the website www.eagleshaven.org or call (954)-315-8688 or (954)-203-4249. 

Behavioral Health Associates of Broward, Counseling Centers of Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward has received two grants from the local nonprofit, Parkland Cares, to be able to provide therapy for people experiencing trauma, as well as individual therapy sessions, to people regardless of whether or not they are able to afford it.

There are two addresses, one in Davie: 5890 S. Pine Island Rd. Suite 201 Davie, FL 33328 and another counseling center is located in Coral Springs: 11555 Heron Bay Blvd, Suite 200 Coral Springs, FL 33026.  To find a therapist or schedule and appointment you can call: 954-909-0888 or visit www.bhabroward.org

Professionals United for Parkland connects the South Florida community to long- and short-term mental health support in the aftermath of the tragedy. PU4P maintains a database of regional mental health providers who offer evidence-based treatment. You can contact PU4P for a referral—regardless of whether or not you have insurance — through the website, www.pu4p.org. PU4P also offers training on grief and trauma for both community members and clinicians.

The Southeast Florida Trauma Recovery Network (TRN) is comprised of local volunteer clinicians and consultants who have extensive training and experience in EMDR therapy, with special training in the use of protocols for recent traumatic events. TRN vets volunteers for appropriate licensure. You can request help through the TRN website: www.emdrhap.org

The Broward County Resiliency Center (BCRC), offers trauma-focused individual, family and group counseling to everyone in the community. Walk-ins are encouraged. Click here for more information on how to access BCPS Resiliency Services.

Veterans in the community who are struggling — related to the communal trauma at MSD or not — can find support by calling the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. You can also chat confidentially online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net or by texting 838255.

In Broward County, veterans can also visit the Mental Health Fast Track Clinic at the William “Bill” Kling VA Clinic (9800 W. Commercial Blvd., Sunrise, Florida 33351, 954-475-5500, ext. 8502). Any veteran can walk in and be seen by a mental health provider Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Local and National Hotlines

2-1-1 Broward

2-1-1 Broward serves people in crisis by providing 24-hour telephone counseling, emotional support, suicide prevention and intervention, and links to community resources.

Phone: 24 hours a day dial 2-1-1 to talk with a Helpline Counselor.

Online: Use their online form to connect with 2-1-1 First Call for help.

Email: info@211-broward.org

Text: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., text your zip code to 898211

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988

The Lifeline offers 24/7 live support by phone or online chat, in multiple languages. This free and confidential support is for "people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals."

Disaster Distress Helpline1-800-985-5990

This service provides 24/7 immediate crisis counseling related to disasters—including mass shootings. Callers can connect with trained crisis counselors. Available in multiple languages.

National Helpline1-800-662-HELP (4357)

The Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7 treatment referral line supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders can call for information and local service referrals. Available in English and Spanish.

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
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