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Having constant protests during a pandemic is taxing especially for the Black community

Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 12:01 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As we keep you updated on what’s happening with protests throughout uptown, there is a bigger picture to report. The reason why protests are happening, the message hoping to come out of them, and the heaviness it is leaving around our entire community.

Combined with the current pandemic, it can be mentally taxing on everyone. In particular, the Black community. Therapists say they’re getting more and more calls.

Black men and women say they are trying to take control of their mental health.

It feels like a perfect storm. A bit of explosion is what I’m hearing a lot of people describe,” said Kimberly Resse Sherman, a therapist in Northeast Charlotte. Her clients are mostly Black women.

“I would say, 95 percent,” she added.

Since the protests in Charlotte have been going on, some of those Black women are struggling. Sherman says she is hearing them say they are angry about the lack of social justice in this country and worried about how to show up to a job with this on their minds.

“Black people are asking, ‘How do I go to work and interact with my White colleagues?’,” Sherman explained.

The best advice she says she can give is to find someone who will support you when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

“Do some Googling and find a therapist. Get in a space and talk to some people,” Sherman said.

Meantime, Kimberly Parker, of Shine Counseling, says she’s hearing similar things from her clients, who are mostly Black men. She is also seeing more requests for therapy sessions and says many calls are men who say seeing George Floyd die on video triggers them because of their own experience with racism.

“They’re feeling less hopeful. They’re feeling frustrated, they’re feeling angered, angered again,” said Parker.

She also says Black men carry the signs of hurt and pain, but it’s sometimes hard to see.

“There’s no scars or anything that would actually show...if you see a loved one and you see changed behavior, where they are less irritable. They’re disorganized, they’re constantly or persistently late, or having problems sleeping or not eating notice those behaviors,” Parker added.

Both therapists say some clients try to find healing in a holistic approach.

“I always try to cover the mind, the body, and the soul,” said Breah Buffaloe the owner of MusaMoon, a holistic-wellness shop in uptown.

Buffaloe teaches people the benefits of teas, incents, and writing – tools to help find peace, she says.

“Are you allowing yourself to feel? Are you allowing yourself to cry? How often are you checking in on yourself?” she asked.

Both therapists say no matter who you are – or what you feel – there are resources out there. The hardest part is finding what works.

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