It’s with a heavy heart that we at Hospice of Santa Barbara offer our condolences to those family members and friends who lost a loved one in the Thomas Fire and Flood disasters. We have learned that those impacted by this event extends broadly and has touched nearly everyone in our community in one way or another. People are anxious and afraid, particularly children. Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) has been at the forefront of helping to heal trauma and grief when tragedy strikes for decades in Santa Barbara—whether it was the shootings at UCSB or at the Goleta Post Office or now, the Thomas Fire and Flood.
What is particularly complicated about this recent disaster is that nearly everyone in our community is experiencing some level of emotional stress. Over 20 people have died and not only are their friends and family affected but their workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and churches. Children in our area have been particularly traumatized by fear about their own mortality and what all this means. Tens of thousands had to be evacuated, people were not able to get to work, and local businesses are suffering.
Because of the way we are structured, Hospice of Santa Barbara is able to immediately respond with our programs and services to virtually any type of crisis in our area, free of charge. We can work from our offices and can be mobile with outreach teams. We 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. 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.
In the aftermath of these traumatic events, we are offering a host of specialized services to the community experiencing grief—including counseling and support groups. The following support will be offered:
- Counseling and support for children, teens, and school staff on impacted school campuses
- Individual & Family Counseling for families 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 are 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. If you or someone you care about is struggling in the wake of this disaster please do not hesitate to call our offices. All services are available in English and Spanish.
(805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.
CEO Hospice of Santa Barbara