To cope with the high level of depressed fisherman who are now out of work the St Bernard Project has been set up in the small town of Chalmette. The charity offers free counselling to fishing families who have been affected by the oil spill.
The project was set up five years ago by Zack Rosenburg and his partner Liz McCartney who after seeing the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on TV left their jobs in Washington DC and moved to Louisiana.
The couple initially set up the project to help people rebuild their homes, but realised that once people began work on their homes they were missing the vitality of life they once had.
“They were missing this richness in their life. And so we decided, if we were going to rebuild people’s homes, we also have to make sure we’re rebuilding their lives.”
A little over a year ago the St Bernard Project started to offer victims of the hurricane therapy which would help them to handle their emotional turmoil. Since the oil spill has happened the charity is now offering help to families trying to cope with that.
They have found that the wives of fishermen are more open to talk about the impact the oil spill is having on their lives and are hoping to position a centre closer to the site which will see both male and female counsellors visiting the community to reinforce the message that those who are struggling are not alone.
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