Mental health impacts of major news events – and how to get help

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Health experts say many people suffer moral injuries, which can lead to distress and depression.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Local experts say mental health is a top priority as the country collectively deals with recent events — from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade to deadly shootings like the one in Highland Park on July 4.

Arianna Galligher, licensed independent social worker supervisor and associate director of the STAR Trauma Recovery Center at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said each person experiences the recent effects differently depending on the impact and closeness they have.

Galligher said some people experience lived trauma while others experience vicarious trauma, and most people experience emotional harm.

“The moral wound is when we are faced with reconciling the differences between what is happening in the world and what our values ​​and our morals tell us should happen,” Galligher said.

Galligher said there is no quick fix for dealing with trauma and recommends seeking a counselor for help.

“It’s a time when it’s important to be as informed as possible, to be as active as possible in the decision-making process, because it’s not just about you individually or your family, but the kind of rules that rule our world,” Galligher says. “There’s hope, it’s just not, it’s just not instant gratification.”

10TV spoke to many women at recent abortion rights protests who said they were overwhelmed by recent events on many levels.

“As someone who’s had a miscarriage in the past and had to have a medical abortion, it’s really scary to think that maybe there isn’t that healthcare here locally,” said Tara Weld who protested alongside her son and father.

“For me as a woman of color, then having knocked down Roe v. Wade. Also, Black Lives Matter is going on, I feel like there’s no place for me in the world I guess,” said Phillisity Neal, a Columbus resident and college freshman. University of Cincinnati.

“It’s like you can’t trust me to choose my own body, but can you trust me to raise a child?” said Abbigail Houston, who works remotely in Columbus and said it can be difficult to be alone with your emotions.

Faith Walters, a licensed social worker and trauma professional, said events and traumas compound each other, and it’s important to take care of yourself and acknowledge your feelings, knowing they won’t last. not forever.

“Your rage, your sadness, your sense of uncertainty is justified and it’s normal,” Walters said.

Walters said signs you might be experiencing emotional trauma include trouble sleeping, nightmares, dissociation like spending hours watching TV or playing video games, and difficulty with emotional regulation.

“It can be outbursts of anger, shouting, screaming, throwing objects. Sometimes it’s just crying. And you can’t identify that one thing that makes you so tearful and emotionally upset,” Walters says.

Some tips outside of seeking professional help include practicing mindfulness and taking 15-20 minutes a day to breathe deeply and acknowledge your feelings. Walters recommends taking a long, hot bath, listening to your favorite music, and calling a friend or family member who shares the same ideologies.

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