The Center for Child Counseling Services is in high demand as young people are struggling with mental health issues

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Following the recent incident at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and the shooting in Texas, the conversation about mental health is at the forefront for many.

As education and awareness efforts increase, mental health resource organizations like the Child Counseling Centerface overwhelming demand.

“Everything felt like doom and gloom and my job was to put my kid in a bubble and protect him, but I think it’s not always good for the kid,” said Carolina Abbiati, who married her 5-year-old unrecognized daughter Logan internalized current events until she started acting at school.

“I felt very ill equipped to deal with it and of course the first feeling you have straight away is, ‘I must be doing something wrong as a parent,'” Abbiati said.

So she took her daughter to the center for child counseling.

“It’s one of the reasons I love working with kids,” said Samantha Lofort, Logan’s therapist at the Center for Child Counseling. “I think the sooner we can help them, the better off they’ll be as teenagers and adults.”

The center has been in Palm Beach County for 23 years and has served more than 30,000 children.

But demand in recent years has nearly quadrupled her waiting list.

“Kids don’t know what’s happening,” said Darla Mullenix, director of school and community services at the Center for Children’s Counseling. “They’re confused, they feel lonely and scared, and they don’t know how to regulate themselves, and they don’t know how to feel better in a world where a lot of negative things are happening.”

The center launched its annual children’s campaign, which serves as a fundraiser to raise awareness of the center’s resources.

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