On the early morning of June 12th, 2016, Orlando unfortunately became known as the location of the worst mass shooting in the modern history of the United States to date. Forty-nine individuals lost their lives and countless others were mentally scared by the tragedy that occurred at Pulse Nightclub, a popular LGBTQ+ safe space in Orlando, FL. Thanks to a $50,000 donation – the largest single donation in our organization’s history – by Glen Close, our speaker at our 2016 Legacy of Champions Luncheon, 3 days following the tragedy the Mental Health Association of Central Florida created our Orlando United Counseling Program. Orlando United Counseling provides confidential, personalized, long-term, culturally-competent, counseling and educational services for those affected by the Pulse tragedy. Since then, over 140 individuals have been able to receive quality mental health services free-of-charge. Additionally, over 3,000 individuals have attended our community workshops that aim to honor the identities of those lost by the Pulse tragedy by fighting the mental health stigma and advocating for the communities most affected by the tragedy. Research shows that trauma requires long-term counseling and that many individuals take years before they reach out for help. For these reasons, our goal is to be able to support the Orlando United Counseling Program for as long as those affected are in need of it’s services. The Pulse shooting and the impression it has left on Orlando does not exemplify this city, or the amazing citizens that keep it alive and progressing forward. The outpouring of love and unity following the event that transpired at Pulse shows just how powerful we are here in Orlando. Orlando United Counseling has no dedicated funding source and its continuation relies entirely on supports such as YOU!
To donate to Orlando United Counseling, please visit this link.