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Do you need somebody to talk to?

October 31, 2018 to November 10, 2018

In the wake of last weekend’s tragedy, Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS), in concert with our partners in the Jewish community, has organized counseling for anyone in the community. JFCS has long been a critical community resource for counseling services.

“Trauma manifests itself in different people different ways and in different times,” says Stefanie Small, Director of Counseling Services at JFCS, “so people should take the time they need to process what is an unspeakable assault on everything they thought was normal, and reach out if they need someone to talk to or to just listen.”

If you need help, support, a place to connect or just a listening ear, here are an array of service options:

  • Drop-in counseling at the JCC, 5738 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 9 am – 9 pm through Friday, and 9 am – 7 pm on Saturday, November 3. Additional hours going forward will be available; we will update the schedule.
  • There are also drop-in hours at the JCC South Hills, 345 Kane Blvd., Scott; call 412-278-1975 for more information.
  • Some alternative therapies are being offered at the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, including acupuncture, Reiki and massage. Call the Pantry at 412-421-2708.
  • Call the Pittsburgh Rape Crisis center’s “warm-line” to speak to a helpline counselor day or night 24/7 (1-866-363-7273 – when prompted press 2).
  • Individual counseling is available at JFCS by appointment. Call 412-422-7200.

JFCS staff have been working with the local Jewish Day schools talking to teachers and kids. Volunteer therapists have been placed around the city at  Literacy Pittsburgh, Repair the World, Carnegie Library (Play Space), Men’s Club at Beth-el, Squirrel Hill Medical Center, senior centers, and more. If your community, organization or agency needs extra support, please be in touch: 412-422-7200.

JFCS is grateful to experts around the world for guiding us through this crisis. Thank you to the Israel Trauma Coalition, who flew in from Israel to hold workshops to train staff, work with local synagogues,  Pittsburgh Public Schools, Allegheny County Office of Behavioral Health, and many individual families. Thank you as well to United Hatzalah who has offered support to the JCC, JUC (Jewish University Center), Shady Side Academy and some private homes.

Wendy Levin-Shaw, a JFCS contract therapist, staffed several shifts at the JCC over the past few days. “A few people came in because they had recently suffered the loss of a loved one and this event refreshed their raw feelings,” she said. “But some came just to have someplace to connect with people – a man who used to live here, somebody from the community with no direct ties to anybody personally, they were just feeling alone.”

“JFCS is concerned about all members of our community,” said Small. “That includes first responders and law enforcement, survivors, children, neighbors and strangers, Jews and non-Jews, the refugee and immigrant communities that were shocked by the directed hate of the shooter, and anyone who feels angry, grief-stricken, hopeless or just numb. Call somebody – you are not alone.”

If you need help, please call us right away at 412-422-7200. We are here for you.

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