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Fleet, Family Service Center Offers Counseling for NAS Pensacola

10 December 2019

From Greg Mitchell

Naval Air Station Pensacola's Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC) is doing its part to support those in need after the Dec. 6 shooting that killed three Sailors.

Naval Air Station Pensacola’s Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC) is doing its part to support those in need after the Dec. 6 shooting that killed three Sailors.

While FFSC offers classes and education on a variety of topics, its counseling services for service members, families and base residents affected by recent events have come to the forefront.

FFSC has established an Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC), which will be available as long as needed.

“We want all the service members and families affected to know that counselors, advocates, and other crisis responders are here to listen and provide guidance as needed," said Kathleen Doherty, Ph.D., Fleet and Family Support Center director.

After a traumatic event, FFSC steps in for DoD-specific personnel needs.

“Our focus right now is recovery for everyone involved,” Doherty said. “FFSC counselors, chaplains and professionals from Naval Hospital Pensacola’s Mental Health Department are working together to ensure everyone has access to services, to protect their overall mental well-being.”

EFAC provides materials such as a pamphlet discussing which reactions after a tragedy are normal and which are not. Counselors are also available for consultation and guidance, and FFSC is providing get-well cards for those in the hospital.

“We recognize that our active duty [service members] and their family members are strong and resilient people, but a shooting is a very rare and tragic event,” Doherty said. “It’s normal for some to react strongly and to have difficulty incorporating this experience into their daily lives. Our goal is to make sure anyone who wants help processing their reactions can get it in a way that's comfortable and effective for them.”

The EFAC includes representatives from the American Red Cross, FBI Victim Services, the Navy Wounded Warrior Program, and other agencies who have resources for non-DOD beneficiaries.

Additionally, the Navy Surgeon General dispatched a special psychiatric rapid intervention team (SPRINT) from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, to provide counseling support.

For counseling, support and information for those affected by the active shooter incident, contact the FFSC at 850-452-5990.

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