Being informed is important, in moderation

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s possible that the severity of the events of the past week will have a negative impact on people’s mental health.

Mental health professionals said it was important to be informed, but excessive drinking could be a trigger for people, creating trauma that could only get worse.

“It’s really important to talk about the ripple effects on the community when traumatic events like this happen,” said Adrian Hernandez, master’s level psychologist at the West Michigan Counseling Center.

The video showing the moments leading up to the shooting of Patrick Lyoya weighs heavily on people’s hearts and minds.

“I totally understand the desire to be well-informed. I think there is sometimes a temptation to constantly watch and read about what’s going on, but I really encourage people to avoid consuming too much media on in this case on the shooting of Mr. Lyoya,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he wasn’t saying not to consume the news at all; he just says do it in moderation.

It can increase anxiety, stress, create excessive worry and even lead to depression, all of which trigger emotions that can be difficult to manage on your own.

READ MORE: Patrick Lyoya’s shooting death: a timeline of events

Keisha McDonald-Griffin, clinical advisor, said there are many types of trauma people can experience.

“Vicarial trauma, obviously…it’s something that the community deals with, where you hear stories or see things happening to someone else, but it affects you, you know, for various reasons. , that you can’t even tell why it’s affecting, you know; it can be right near you, you know, or something like that,” said Keisha McDonald-Griffin, Clinical Advisor at MADD Therapy.

“On an individual level, people are encouraged to spend time thinking about the impact of these events on them. You need to talk about self-care, mental health management. From… person to person other, it really depends on what that individual is going through,” Hernandez said.

Both mental health professionals said communication was key to achieving this.

“Having this conversation helps you to be able to process the things that are going on in your mind that you may not even understand or realize are there,” McDonald-Griffin said.

The Black Impact Collaborative held a community conversation about the death Thursday at Ottawa Hills High School. Clinicians were also on hand to help with the process.

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