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Mental Health Expert talks mental, emotional distress caused by current events

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol...
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)(Julio Cortez | AP)
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:38 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -For many of us - the past year has taken a heavy toll.

Mentally, emotionally, and even physically.

Especially after our nation’s unity was tested yesterday in Washington.

And some may be struggling to figure out how to process these events - and how to move forward.

< “People are dealing with levels of stress that they’ve never seen before, because it’s incessant right like we’ve been dealing with for almost a year now, "

The images are disturbing and may linger long after you’ve turned off the tv or logged off social media.

“To see the riots, to see the Capital stormed and to know that’s happened in this country since the 1800′s and where does that leave us as the American people. How do we individually, deal with the stress that that’s caused in our lives, but collectively,”

The invasion of our nation’s Capital by rioters Wednesday was just the latest in what’s been a year of unrest and uncertainty across the country.

All of it taking place during a deadly pandemic... leaving many struggling mentally to be okay.

“Now is the time where need to look what are some of those natural supports and recognize what the stress is doing to us individually,” said Director of Integrated Services at Hamilton Community Health Networks, said Staci Hines.

Hines is also a licensed clinical social worker.

She works with people who have issues with substance abuse- providing mental health counseling to people in Genesee County.

Hines says it’s okay to not have an answer right away on how to feel-- to feel uncertain about the days ahead. To take the time needed to process those feelings.

“I think the important thing is acknowledge that is normal. It is normal to feel stress in the environment that we’re in. What we want to look out for though is is that stress starting to consume our daily lives,” Hines said.

Hines say the key is figuring out when those feelings overwhelm you to the point where it’s time to seek help.

“Recognize that stress looks different on everybody. So, stress can look like irritation, it can look like. I’m not sleeping well I’m not eating well I’m overwhelmed I’m lacking motivation. Those are all things that we outwardly expresses as a symptom of having extra stress in our life and, and knowing that we can address those issues,” she said. “If it’s becoming disruptive to the point that I’m not able to do my everyday day to day functions, then it’s time to go see our primary care provider. Let’s talk to professional that can give us in the right direction and sometimes it’s just having that professional to talk to. And sometimes we need other interventions, but I think it’s about being open and recognizing that.”

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