South Whidbey Commons opens doors for community counseling today

With many in the community still reeling from the tragic accident that claimed a South End 9-year-old girl's life on Christmas, the South Whidbey Commons is offering counseling this afternoon.

Five counselors will be available at the commons, located at 124 Second St. in Langley, from 3 to 7 p.m. The drop-in session will include discussion and art therapy, among other forms of dealing with grief.

"It's sort of our response to a need that we saw as people need to process together grief," said Gena Kraha, operations director at the commons.

"There will be some creative ways of expressing grief with some of our therapists."

The event is also aimed at community members who are still struggling with the loss of three South Whidbey men who died in a car crash Nov. 11.

"I think they'll be processing for lots of tragedies," Kraha said.

South End therapists and counselors Charlene Ray, Mark Brady, Max Junge, Debbie Elwell and Annapoorne Colangelo will be available to speak with visitors and mourners.

The commons will be open for regular business as well, and coffee and tea will be provided for those attending the counseling.

"We just want to make sure that people have an opportunity to be together, to share the pain and the joys that come with this kind of tragedy," Kraha said.

The Friday Night Live performance by Dana Moffett and a group of singers and musicians was canceled by the artists. A rescheduled performance date has not been set.

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