Race relations, protests, covid and mental health

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Greenville, SC (WSPA) – Stress, fear, uncertainty…those are just some of the feelings that mental health experts say people are dealing with on a daily basis.

Downtown Greenville served as the backdrop for a recent protest, but what is the emotional impact on those who join in and their loved ones.

They chant, “Black lives matter” and even “All Lives matter”, Greenville protestors adding their voices to the nationwide outcry of racial injustice. People hitting the streets come from a deep rooted issue.

“The revolts right now are a value issue. The more value they get, I promise you the revolt will go down.” Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Roger Rhoades said.

With Coronavirus spreading, protests sparking up and people confined to their homes with their families, studies show that stress levels and domestic incidents are on the rise.

“People who are in control seldom use violence as a behavior to deal with stuff.” Rhoades said.

Randy Edmunds had to shut down his business because of Covid, but also understands first hand the cries for racial healing. He lent his voice to protest at tanners restaurant weeks ago and says Pushing for change can take its toll.

“You’ve got to take the time to think about it, pray about it and talk to people about it. Don’t just keep it closed up inside and try to be so strong and think that you won’t be affected by it, because you really can“ Business Owner, Randy Edmunds said.

For this recent college graduate watching things unfold can be a little unsettling, but looking to a higher power has given her perspective and strength.

“One thing that I tried to focus on and a lot of my friends have focused on is just being thankful for the time that you do have at home.” recent college graduate, Mary Varighese.

Rhoades says the number one way of lowering stress can be as easy as maintaining basic meaningful connections.

“ I actually think it’s back to have a picnic with your family it’s a big start.” Rhoades said.

Self-care is vital during this time when many are secluded.

“Children are all running around there’s no buffer school there’s no buffer to send them out to friends they’re sitting at home 24 seven and the pot is boiling and boom, Rhoades said.

For Rhoades communicating within community and family connections…. can help relieve some pressure.

According to mental health professionals, the new normal brings new stresses, that may not end anytime soon.

Mental health experts suggest finding someone to talk to like a pastor or even a trusted friend can help during these times of uncertainty

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