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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach is a comprehensive non-profit family service organization with offices located in Martin, Palm Beach, Indian River, and St. Lucie counties. Due to the variety of local community needs, Catholic Charities provides a wide range of programs. Learn more and get involved.

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Counseling Services – “Fernando” came to the Catholic Charities Counseling office in February as a victim of a crime. Fernando sought counseling due to feeling panicky and anxious after being attacked with a weapon in a hallway at his high school. Fernando felt that he had to watch his back at all times while at school. Fernando reported that he was cooperating with the authorities and the District Attorney’s Office to stop his attackers from hurting anyone else. Before the incident happened, Fernando stated, “I was a normal 17-year-old boy who loved playing soccer, hanging out with friends and going to school. Since this incident, I am fearful. I do not want to go out anywhere nor take the bus to school. When I do go out, I want to have an adult or a family member with me at all times. I am not taking any chances of something like this happening to me again.” In sessions, Fernando received support and learned coping skills to decrease his anxiety. He learned ways to protect himself by having a companion stay with him, keeping close to the teachers during lunch time and reporting any anomaly to the school authorities when he felt that he was in danger. He began to gain more confidence in himself every day and became proactive by becoming more aware of his surroundings. Counseling treatment helped prevent Fernando from possible future psychological distress. With the help of counseling from Catholic Charities, Fernando was able to learn how to calm his nervousness and recuperate from the effects of the attack. He overcame his fears and regained his trust in people. Instead of becoming a statistic for suicide or a high school drop-out, Fernando graduated from his high school and will become the first member of his family to attend college.

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