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.
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“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.
Together with Project: Cold Case, Action News Jax featured the case back in 2018.
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.
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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.
To reach Wiggins for counseling, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website for more information.
Cox Media Group