Incidents of violence, brutality take toll on mental health

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 9:55 PM CDT
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George Floyd, Breronna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are three of the latest casualties from what some say amounts to police brutality and social injustice.

With moments leading up to their deaths caught on video, their stories have gained national attention. While the documentation and spread on social media raises awareness about an issue that concerns many, COMCARE of Sedgwick County therapist Shi Slaughter says these incidents can take a toll on mental health.

"I think that a lot of individuals, especially in the African American community, they're experiencing a wide range of feelings and emotions, including anger, frustration, confusion," Slaughter says.

She says hearing about incidents of violence and brutality can cause more fear and confusion among teens and young children, but parents have the power to make them feel better.

"Engaging in those conversations, making them feel that they're in an environment where they are safe, to express what they're feeling, and then, be supportive," Slaughter says.

Slaughter says hearing about these events can cause more fear and confusion among teens and young children, so its important for parents to stay involved.

"Engaging in those conversations, making them feel they're in an environment where they are safe to express what they're feeling and be supportive." Said Slaughter.

She says adults can also do some things to cope with the emotions.

"Self awareness, knowing what some of those triggers are, exposure, limiting exposure to social media," Slaughter says. "Having support. Not only support you are aware of, but those people know they are your support."

Slaughter says coping skills like exercise can also help.

"Just things that change your mindset and your thought process from what you're continuously being exposed to over social media right now." Slaughter says.

She says peaceful and friendly protesting can help too.

"It makes them feel like there's others who have the same feelings that they are," Slaughter says

If you need help or support, you can call COMCARE'S 24-hour emergency hotline to speak with a professional at 316- 660-7500.

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