NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – Hamilton Professional Counseling has been working with Noblesville schools for the past year, but they never anticipated their services would be needed in this way, following the recent shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.
They’ve stepped up to offer free group counseling to students, staff and parents. But now, they want to take that a step further with free individual counseling. However, this effort is going to take some help from the community.
Kristi Turner owns Hamilton Professional Counseling. She along with 11 therapists in her practice have been on the front lines of healing for the Noblesville community.
"They are offering their services for free over the summer to lead groups for students and parents and staff. So we are doing that but we don't want it to stop there. We want to be able to offer these resources to our community for free to deal with this trauma," Kristi said.
Kristi has created the Caring for Millers Counseling fund. She says she doesn't want money to stand in the way of one-on-one therapy.
"But unfortunately, often when they're referred to my office or other officers, there's financial issues that the parents can't afford," Kristi said.
As 13-year-old Ella Whistler lies in the hospital with collapsed lungs, a broken jaw, significant nerve damage, and numerous injuries related to being shot seven times, Kristi says it's time to look at mental health as a way of preventing this from happening again.
"I think too often we look at school violence at the end result and while we definitely want to be able to talk about that we want to address the mental health needs of our kids in elementary school."
Hamilton professional counseling has set up a fundraising account here. The counselors are reaching out to local businesses and partners to donate.