Counselors available to support Louisville protesters’ mental health

Counselors available to support Louisville protesters’ mental health

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s been an emotional year for people in Louisville and around the country. A lot of people are dealing with anxiety, nervousness, and anxiousness when it comes to the current racial and civil unrest.

Millicent Cahoon was at the front lines during the beginning of protests in Louisville and she felt she needed a different role for racial equality and justice.

”I’m like, we need therapist down here,” Cahoon said. “I just did a roll call on Facebook and said ‘Therapists, if you’re interested in coming down to the square and helping protesters message me.‘”

More than fifty therapists answered the call. In the past month, the group has helped hundreds of protesters. Cahoon said she noticed protesters showing signs of dysregulation, depression, and anxiety.

Theo Wrath says those emotions run through him daily.

”It is it’s very heavy right here,” Wrath said. “Knowing that Tyler [Gerth] lost his life [in this park] fighting and standing for the movement. You never know what can happen.”

”A lot of them [protesters] can’t sleep,” Cahoon said. “They want to be down here so they’re going to keep coming down here. They’re so anxiety-ridden. A lot of them have been hit by the bullets they’ve been tear-gassed, they still want to be here. They are happy to see the table because it gives them the option to still come down here but someone is helping them be regulated.”

Cahoon said people involved in the movement are dealing with the stresses of COVID and racial inequality while going to school and or working full-time jobs. Therapists are on call and provide ongoing services.

Cahoon said it’s an exchange on both sides of the table because protesters gave therapists another way to connect with the community after the coronavirus, and it brings hope in the midst of a negative time in the city.

The counseling group said it will set up in the park nearly every afternoon. If there is a major protesting event they will set up at that location as well.

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