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Mental health counselors provide free services to those suffering after Surfside building collapse

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said he's "looking forward to our police department apprehending" the suspect accused of these "terrible" crimes targeting condo collapse victims.

SURFSIDE, Fla. – Wellspring Counseling, a non-profit organization focused on mental health services, will be providing some free services to help those who were impacted by the Surfside building collapse.

Aside from free individual sessions, Wellspring Counseling experts will also be hosting free seminars and workshops for adults and minors starting on Saturday.

“People think ‘Well I am over it and it’s all passed’ but they still have all these emotional responses that do need professional help and that’s us we are the second responders, the 6-weeks to 6-months and trying to prevent 6-years of miserable feelings,” said Tova Kreps, the president of Wellspring Counseling.

Kreps said there might be Surfside survivors, neighbors, or triggered survivors of other tragedies like the earthquake in Haiti who are suffering from post-traumatic stress in silence. Some of the PTSD symptoms to look for, he said, are hypervigilance, intrusion, and constriction.

Kreps said hypervigilance is the sense that danger is always around; intrusion is when there is an excessive focus on traumatic memories that can show up in nightmares and conversations, and constriction is isolation and withdrawal. Nicole Alfonso, a mental health counselor, said children and teens can also suffer from PTSD.

“Oftentimes we think that children are resilient, things don’t affect them as they do adults, and it does and so if affects children just as it affects us. They see themselves, there are images of children that passed in this and so they see themselves, that could have happened to me,” Alfonso said.

The first free workshop is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Church by the Sea, at 1045 95th St., on Bay Harbor Islands. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Reservation is required for free childcare. For more information about how to register, visit this Wellspring Miami page.

SCHEDULE

  • Workshop on trauma resolution: The Zoom session is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 25.
  • Therapy for adults: The in-person sessions are from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 at the Church by the Sea or on Zoom from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Oct. 16.
  • Therapy from minors ages 7 to 17: The Zoom trauma resolution therapy will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 16.
  • Individual therapy with story healing: A session of one hour and 30 minutes.
  • Restore Retreat for adults: The retreat is from Sept 29 to Oct. 3rd.

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."