On June 12, shortly after the deadly shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, VA deployed Mobile Vet Centers to help those exposed to the trauma and aftermath of that deadly event. While VA’s Vet Centers and its mobile teams usually serve combat Veterans and family members, in light of the tragedy, all federal agencies were asked to assist with response efforts. VA’s Under Secretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin temporary lifted restrictions so trained counselors could provide crisis counseling to anyone in need in Orlando.
So far, more than 2,000 people — including Veterans and community members — have received confidential counseling services from VA’s experienced readjustment counseling teams who have extensive expertise serving Veterans, active duty Servicemembers and families who have been exposed to trauma or who have experienced the sudden traumatic loss of a loved one.
VA positioned crisis counselors and Mobile Vet Centers, which are 38-foot, RV-style vehicles, in several Orlando locations to assist anyone in need of crisis counseling including bereavement-counseling and trauma-survivor counseling. Each location is staffed by bilingual English/Spanish speaking counselors.
These counselors will be available this week for those in the Orlando area who remain in need of their services at the following locations and times through Friday:
- Counseling available for family members of the victims: Daily from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. through June 22 at Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando, Florida
- Counseling for anyone: Daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dr. Phillips Center, 445 South Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida
- Counseling for anyone: Daily from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lake Eola Park, 512 E Washington St, Orlando, Florida