JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For those who’ve lost a loved one to violence, learning how to cope with the trauma can seem like an insurmountable task.
But for one local woman, her family’s tragedy has now turned into a mission to help others.
When Katie Wiggins’ dad, Stephen, was murdered back in 2008 she had no one to turn to.
“I went to a couple of counselors and they just didn’t understand the things that I had experienced from losing my dad to murder,” she said.
Her dad’s case remains unsolved but since then Wiggins has become a licensed mental health counselor.
“I just had a vision last July to help those who’ve lost a loved one to homicide through mental health counseling,” said Wiggins.
Now she’s launching her own non-profit called Healing Roots: Where Hope is Found where she focuses on helping the families of murder victims cope with their loss.
Coming up this Saturday, May 22, Healing Roots is holding a candlelight vigil to honor 14 victims, supporters will be able to sponsor a victim’s family starting at $25.
“If you donate, then you’re donating specifically, you could do six sessions or more for each person or you could just do a blind donation,” said Wiggins.
So far Healing Roots has received some referrals directly from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
But the need for mental health counseling is great.
Wiggins hopes to make a difference through understanding because she too knows the pain of loss.
Cox Media Group