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Mental Health Grant Provides Counseling To Pulse Victims As Anniversary Approaches

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

After the Pulse nightclub shooting, mental health organizations mobilized to provide counseling.

The Mental Health Association of Central Florida used a grant to create a new program to help people affected by the shooting with free mental health counseling. Now, they’re looking for funding to keep operating. 

“We definitely had a huge influx of people needing services and needing culturally competent services,” said Yasmin Flasterstein from the Mental Health Association of Central Florida. “Counselors that spoke Spanish and therapists that also understood LGBTQ cultural competence.”

The nightclub shooting hit especially hard in Orlando’s Latino community. 

Elba Rivera, of Hispanic Family Counseling of Orlando, helped with individual’s PTSD and is still working with clients. 

“Some of them were able to make it through the first couple of months, but as the anniversary comes up, they start getting anxious. A lot of things are happening. They’re remembering things that they didn’t remember before,” said Rivera.