© 2024 Central Florida Public Media. All Rights Reserved.
90.7 FM Orlando • 89.5 FM Ocala
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dealing with Trauma Brought on By Incidents of Police Brutality, The Derek Chauvin Trial? Here's How to Get Help.

Photo: Emma Simpson
Photo: Emma Simpson

The Mental Health Association of Central Florida has reported a marked rise in calls for help both during and after the Derek Chauvin trial. 

President and CEO Marni Stahlman says that’s because coverage of the trial might be triggering people’s own experiences with police brutality and racism. 

Stahlman says that could be manifesting in a number of different ways including feeling emotionally numb or shut down.

"Certainly feelings of experienced fatigue, sleep disturbances. Sometimes some of the events that we've seen take place related to the trial can also trigger flashbacks or intrusive memories that someone may have had from a trauma they themselves had experienced."

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/13001_MENTAL-HEALTH_DANIELLE.wav"][/audio]

Stahlman says it’s crucial if someone is experiencing these symptoms to practice self care including getting enough sleep and talking to friends, family and coworkers. 

She says children who might be watching or listening to coverage of these cases should also be encouraged to do the same.

"Certainly children, seeing and being exposed in the news media to depictions of violence, particularly racial violence without having an outlet to talk about those feelings can create anxiety, depression and lead, unfortunately to some very drastic measures which include and potentially lead to substance use disorders and self harm."

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/13002_MENTAL-HEALTH_DANIELLE.wav"][/audio]

Stahlman says if feelings of despair become overwhelming and disruptive to daily routines people should reach out to a mental health provider. 

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.