From the beginning, VSS has been committed to providing trauma focused care, focusing on empowerment and client driven individual, family and group services. We recognize that people come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences, that traumatic experiences may or may not be part of their history. We believe that people are resilient, that with guidance in addressing their emotional, behavioral, cognitive, spiritual and/or physical wellbeing they can become their whole self. We also recognize that trauma is part of a system, that families, friends and communities are affected and extending our support to those individuals or groups. Our therapists are trained to work with people of all ages who have experienced trauma using a variety of techniques. The trauma work we do involves providing compassion, guidance and a variety of tools to assist on their journey.
VSS strongly believes in collaboration, recognizing the importance of a solid support network around the person or family. For instance, a person may have a criminal case happening in the criminal justice system. Working as a team, a community advocate, system advocate and mental health counselor can provide a “wrap-around” service ensuring that the person or family is given information and support. Ultimately, a person is best served when they are aware of services, are supported in accessing those services and provided the tools to utilize the service.
In 2013 Victim Support Services (VSS) received a grant from United Way of Snohomish County to provide free therapy services to people who have been hurt or harmed by crime. Since then, VSS has provided trauma focused therapy to people who have had little to no access to mental health. Working in conjunction with VSS advocates has enabled us to provide optimal services by providing therapy alongside advocacy services. This grant ends in June 2016. We are currently seeking funding to continue to provide this valuable service.
October 2014 brought tragedy to the Marysville community when five students died as the result of gun violence. VSS was there to provide crisis intervention and by November 2014 had placed a full time trauma therapist at Marysville Pilchuck High School. Another part-time therapist provided services in the community and schools as needed. Therapeutic services remained free of charge. VSS received an emergency assistance grant through the Office of Victims of Crime to provide for four full time therapists providing mental health services in the Marysville community, in various schools and in our Marysville office. This funding ends in January 2017.