The COVID-19 pandemic has led to global mental health issues in children and teens. A wellness center in South Florida, dedicated to helping those affected by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in 2018, is offering services to those affected by COVID-19.
“I think it’s definitely that loneliness piece,” said Katie Bly, parent of 18-year-old.
Loneliness. Something we’ve all felt lately since the pandemic started.
“She’s used to going to school, then she’d be home by 3 then I would get home by 5, so she had a few hours where she was by herself but now it’s all day,” said Katie.
For Katie Bly’s 18-year-old daughter, the abrupt closure of schools affected her, along with the hundreds of thousands of students in South Florida. Luckily for Bly’s daughter, she has a job to keep her busy.
“We have received phone calls on our on-call seeking crisis support and we’ve been there for them every step of the way,” said Halle Solomon, Assistant Director at Eagles' Haven.
Located in Coral Springs, the Eagles' Haven opened as a wellness center to help those affected by the Stoneman Douglas shooting.
“We are compassionately funded by the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. They envisioned this idea of having a wellness center for the community that really focused on healing, wellness, and coming together as a community to promote resilience,” said Halle.
The center offers an array of services, free of charge. From parent guidance sessions to crisis support and pet therapy.
“Information and education, so we have different parent education series and teen series. Just really stopping by and getting a tour of what we do and what we can offer. Family strengthening services, which is where they connected with a navigator. A navigator is someone who can help then navigate the system. There are so many different things they are able to get that they don’t know they’re able to,” said Halle.
The services are available to everyone.
“When we first opened about a year and a half ago, we had phone calls from all over the country. Like people in Texas needing help to get connected and we help them find therapists in their area. It's really nothing we can't do, it's the same model we had at JAFCO since they opened, which is we help anyone who needs support,” said Halle.
As for Katie and her daughter, when they’re not utilizing services at Eagles' Haven, mother-daughter time is crucial.
“I have to make sure that when I’m there (home) that it’s maximize of what are we doing. Even if it's just when I get home at 5 until 9 or 10 when we go to bed. We are just going to maximize every second of doing something engaging and fun,” said Katie.
The services are available to adults as well. You can find all the services available , here. You can also call them at (954) 618-0350 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.