Mental health issues after a catastrophic event can affect people for  years, according to a Health Hub article from Lee Health. That is why FISH OF SANCAP formed an important partnership with SalusCare after Hurricane Ian to offer counseling services to anyone who needs them.


“We noticed people struggling with stress, anxiety and sadness, and PTSD-like symptoms when other storms came close by after Ian,” says Erika Broyles, FISH Senior Services Director. “That’s why we connected with SalusCare and began offering counseling to those who need it, at no charge to the participant. Now that we are in hurricane season, more folks are looking for mental health support, particularly since this season is predicted to be overactive. We’re glad to offer help in a convenient location on Sanibel.”


In a recent study titled Association Between Repeated Exposure to Hurricanes and Mental Health, results highlight the need to address the mental health implications of exposure to natural hazards, particularly in areas such as the Gulf Coast that are at high risk for repeated hurricane exposure. Additionally, the anniversary of a disaster event combined with hurricane season may cause survivors to experience symptoms such as worry, fear, panic attacks and other.


“Traumatic events like Hurricane Ian are marked by a sense of horror, helplessness, serious injury, or the threat of serious injury or death, “ says Dr. Ronald Smallwood, a psychiatrist with Lee Health/Lee Physician Group. “They affect survivors, rescue workers, and the friends and relatives of victims who have been involved.”


To address storm related and other mental health concerns, FISH and SalusCare offer services by appointment on Wednesdays. A trained professional provides one-on-one therapy sessions focusing on PTSD, trauma and loss, mental exhaustion and more. Anyone who is coping with anxiety, depression and/or PTSD, regardless of the source, is welcome and encouraged to seek guidance.


“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the traumatic event,” notes Smallwood in a Health Hub interview. “PTSD can disrupt a person’s life, job, relationships, health, and enjoyment of everyday activities. Oftentimes, the first instinct of someone who’s undergone trauma is to withdraw. Isolating ourselves from the things that we love and that give us meaning only worsens things in the long run. One suggestion is to continue to do the things that make you happy and healthy in life. Happiness often comes from the purpose gained from doing things we define as meaningful to ourselves.”


FISH encourages those experiencing PTSD-like symptoms, depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns to seek assistance. To schedule a session with a trained SalusCare professional, contact Erika Broyles at 239-472-4775 or [email protected]. Other sources of information include the Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Alliance, an alliance of professional and advocacy organizations that provide educational resources to individuals diagnosed with PTSD and their loved ones; those at risk for developing PTSD; and medical, healthcare and other professionals. Visit or call 1-877-507-PTSD.


For additional information on FISH long term recovery assistance and other programs, please contact Maria Espinoza, Executive Director at 239-472-4775 or visit their website at