San Antonio agencies in Uvalde providing needed emotional, mental support

Family Service, Ecumenical Center, Children’s Bereavement Center offer no-cost services

The uproar surrounding Monday's school board meeting compounds the anger and grief that already permeates Uvalde. KSAT's Jessie Degollado tells us how two San Antonio-based agencies are trying to give the Uvalde community the counseling and mental health support they need.

UVALDE, Texas – They’ve been in Uvalde since it happened -- a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, which left the small town torn apart by grief, anger, uncertainty and suspicion.

Among the first to arrive on day one was the Family Service Rural Team.

The agency, said to be the oldest human service nonprofit in San Antonio since 1903, has been in Uvalde and surrounding rural areas for more than two decades.

Spokesman Wynn Hoke said Family Service was seeing individuals and families that day, along with offering its existing office-based counseling services, which deal with trauma, anxiety, PTSD and more, at no cost.

The need now is still high, so Family Services has opened a new location at a Walmart in Uvalde.

In Uvalde since the first week, the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas now has a newly-opened Comfort and Consults Center on North Getty St., with licensed grief counselors at no cost for children and their families.

Marian Sokol, the organization’s executive director, said, “We’ll be here for the long term.”

“We’re helping children today, but some of them are going to need us more tomorrow,” Sokol said.

The Ecumenical Center also has been offering its counseling and mental health trauma services to children, families and adults in Uvalde.

Mary Beth Fisk, the Ecumenical Center’s CEO, is the interim director of the Uvalde Strong Resiliency Center, which offers a wide range of services.

Fisk said the Ecumenical Center’s staff goes to wherever people are in the community to let them know help is available if or when they need it.

She said the overall goal is to bring the community together “through services dedicated to helping everyone.”

Also on KSAT:

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.