NewsShooting death of Patrick Lyoya


Mental health professionals: Being informed is important, in moderation

Grand Rapids Protest for Patrick Lyoya
Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 19:35:00-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's possible the severity of the events last week could have a negative impact on people's mental health.

Mental health professionals said it's important to be informed but too much consumption could be triggering for people, creating traumas that may only get worse.

"It is really important to talk about the ripple effects on the community when traumatic events like this happen," said Counseling Center of West Michigan Master's Level Psychologist Adrian Hernandez.

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

"I completely understand the desire to be well-informed. I think that there is sometimes a temptation to watch and to read continuously about what is going on, but I really do encourage folks to avoid consuming too much media about in this case about the shooting of Mr. Lyoya," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said he is not saying not to consume the information at all; he is just saying to do so in moderation.

It can increase anxiety, stress, create excessive worry and even lead to depression, all of this triggering emotions that can be difficult to deal with on your own.

READ MORE: Shooting death of Patrick Lyoya: a timeline of events

Keisha McDonald-Griffin, a clinical counselor, said there are many types of trauma people may experience.

"The vicarious trauma, obviously ... it's something that the community deals with, where you're hearing stories, or seeing things that are happening to someone else, but it's affecting you, you know, for various reasons, that you may not even know why it's affecting, you know; it may just be close to home, you know, or something like that," said MADD Therapy Clinical Counselor Keisha McDonald-Griffin.

"On an individual level, folks are encouraged to spend time reflecting on how these events are impacting them. You need to talk about self-care, mental health management. From ... from person to person, it really depends on what exactly this individual is going through," said Hernandez.

Both mental health professionals said communication is key to working through it.

"Having that conversation helps you to be able to process the things that are happening in your mind that you may not even understand or realize is there," said McDonald-Griffin.

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

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