Helping Hands

Toby 2We have all been saddened by the recent tragic deaths of four young girls in the Cortland community. Family and friends are struggling to cope with the loss of people they hold dear. Teachers and students are hurting and often overwhelmed by the loss of their classmates.

Toby in clinic room
Toby is a therapy dog who provides emotional support for people impacted by traumatic events.

Many FCS staff volunteer on the Cortland County Trauma Response Team, offering emotional support to people who have been impacted by these tragedies. This past week, Toby and other therapy dogs were also there for students at the school district. Quietly providing support as students gathered in small groups around the dogs to talk with counselors and each other about what they were feeling and how to cope with the loss of their friends and classmates. Hands stroked the dogs or just reached out to touch. One member of the Trauma Response Team shared this observation, “I witnessed a day of a thousand interventions from student to student, staff to student, community member to staff and to students, and canines with students and staff.”

Please know that resources are still available for those who need help. Jennifer O’Callaghan, the coordinator of the Trauma Response Team, can be reached at (607) 229-8237. The Trauma Response Team can also make referrals to community resources, including Family Counseling Services, for those who need additional support.

One Response

  1. Rachael Murray

    Thank you for sharing this story. It makes me really appreciate how strong the Cortland community really is! Your staff (Toby included!) are truly an asset in good times and bad.

Leave a Reply