The Family Support Network (FSN) is assisting with a number of social issues since the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria. FSN co-ordinator and counsellor, Dr Sylvia Simmonds disclosed to the Tortola Ladies Club on 21 February that they are both dealing with cases of stress/trauma and seeing a large number of people in need.
Dr. Simmonds announced that since the storm a number of persons have visited the Family Support Network with their significant other or their children for counselling as a means of getting help with the post-hurricane trauma: “It has become very difficult for a lot of mothers particularly to cope with a lot of the stress and also some of the issues they are going through with their loved ones, so we are doing a heck of a lot with very little.”
The needs that arose from the passage of the hurricanes compounds the work the FSN staff who still have to assist the clients they had before the hurricane. She said it is now a matter of multi-tasking as the FSN staff must now balance seeing clients in the prison and accommodating walk-ins and others.
“I am seeing two inmates right now because one of them was ordered by the court and one is a female client that we had is remanded. The male client that is ordered by the court for anger management I have to go up there (prison) every Thursday because he has classes that he has to take. We provide this kind of service to both male and female victims and male and female batterers,” she explained.
It was disclosed that the FSN has seen 419 new cases in 2017, that number included 28 children and 58 men. “We still have a lot of work that requires to be done outside of giving food,” the FSN Coordinator explained.
She also noted that “a lot of people are looking for clothing because a lot of people lost a lot. No clothes no shoes…My biggest concern is that all the persons who are coming in that have no recourse because they have no funds and they can’t go to the bank to get a loan because they are 65 and 75. The oldest person we have so far is 97.” Dr. Simmonds said the FSN also has two disabled persons that they assist.