I have received many inquiries about resources for clinicians and counselor educators that work with diverse populations. I am currently working on creating a resource depository for our members to access. As mental health counselors we also need to be cognizant of our own mental health before we can help others with their trauma:
1. Take a break. Take a mini break from your viewing, reading, or listening to things concerning the political climate and violence against minorities. Since this is the source of your trauma you must give your mind, body, and senses a break in order to attempt to heal.
2. Use your personal support system. Check on each other and pay attention to signs of whether you are someone in your support system is withdrawing or exhibiting signs of depression or trauma.
3. Increase your physical health. This is the perfect time to incorporate exercise to increase the release of healthy endorphins the brain. Exercise could be a daily walk, trying a new workout class, or going to the gym regularly.
4. Seek your own mental health professional. Find your own counselor that you can talk to about your increased stress and feelings surrounding the stressful political and social climate we currently inhabit. As we instruct our clients make sure the counselor you select specializes in working with people of color and understands the impact of sociocultural oppression.
5. Invest time in a favorite hobby. Use this time to invest in an activity or hobby that you enjoy. This can be as simple as reading or as rewarding as participating in community service. These activities will also help in easing stress of the mind, body, and spirit.
Kimberly N. Frazier, Ph.D., LPC, NCC
AMCD President 2016-2017