Dallas County

Preserving Mental Health When Trauma on the News Feels Close to Home

Watching coverage of traumatic events hits people differently, and it's important to acknowledge that

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As the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd winds down; the trauma of reliving Floyd's final moments over and over again can increase. Trauma does not hit the same for everyone.

"They look like you, they live in the same community as you, it's much more difficult to not internalize the reality that you could be that person, or it could happen to you," Metrocare Services Chief Clinical Officer Kelli Laos said.

Metrocare Services is the largest provider of mental healthcare in Dallas County. No one is turned away for their ability to pay.

"Everything that's happening around us, it's impacting us," Laos said. "We need to be ok saying, 'hey, I don't feel so great,' and then be ok with doing something about it."

"When you see people on a weekly basis, whether they're Black, Latino, or Asian; it's too much," Tameka Cass said. "It's numbing to some extent."

Cass is Black. She said there's a balancing act between being informed about what is happening in the world, and protecting her now 11-year-old son Jaxon.

"What do I share with my son? How much do I share? How much is too much for him," Cass asked. "How do I prepare my sweet, handsome young man to understand that one day, he may be perceived as a threat?"

Cass said it's important to validate those feelings.

"It's important for others who don't have these experiences to not dismiss or excuse the realities of the long-term trauma, or the feeling of despair," Cass said. "Until there's true systematic change in our society and within ourselves, that Black mothers and Black fathers and other people of color, we're not ok, and we need others like you to be an ally."

Metrocare Services has a support line that is staffed Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 1-214-743-1215.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.

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