The coronavirus pandemic, coupled with protests over social injustice nationwide, is taking a toll on people's mental health across the country. A group in North Texas offers mental health support -- and offering it for free to those whose jobs were impacted by the pandemic.
For protestors fighting against racism, there are risks of tear gas, arrest and violence.
Now, there is the added threat of exposure to COVID-19.
“If you had a protest now without a pandemic, you might see a different outcome. But right now you have people who -- their basic needs of safety and security of life and food and employment, are completely unstable," said Anastasia Taylor, executive director for Alliance Child & Family Solutions.
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Taylor said she’s seen an increase in people seeking support for economic struggles and trauma.
“A lot of times you won’t see the effects of it until 60 or 90 days afterward. With COVID-19, it’s different because we don’t have an end date yet,” she said.
She suggested people unplug and step outside to recharge.
“Turn off the phone. Turn off the social media. Take some time in nature by yourself," Taylor said. "Read a book, take a nap if you need it, but make sure you’re sleeping regularly, hydrating, and eating healthy foods."
She added It’s important people acknowledge their feelings and seek support if they need extra help.
“Counseling is for the strong who are able to identify that, who want to see different in their life,” Taylor said.
Alliance Child & Family Solutions is offering free mental health care to anyone whose job was affected by COVID-19.
Thanks to sponsors and the North Texas CARES program, the free counseling program has been extended through May 2021.