Counseling available for returning students, staff

January 15, 2014 • Local News

Parents and children took advantage of counseling services offered at Berrendo Middle School Wednesday. Several more therapists will be on hand for those returning today.

Chaves County CASA will be one of many providers assisting mental health professionals from the schools, city and state, said Executive Director Carrie-Leigh Cloutier.

“We’ll be there in the morning to guide the kids into the school and help them with their trauma throughout the day,” Cloutier said.

CASA joined the crisis team with its trained courthouse dogs. The dogs are trained to work with traumatized children.

“It helps to reduce the (post traumatic stress disorder) that happens,” Cloutier said. “The outcomes are very good.”

One of the dogs was taken to the University Medical Center in Lubbock to stay with a family of one of the victims.

“The trauma can be pretty extreme, because there were so many witnesses,” Cloutier said.

In all, some 750 were involved, she estimated.

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