Collective trauma: Coping with the death of George Floyd and riots

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — At a News 8 town hall tonight discussing the death of George Floyd Monday, and the destructive responses over the weekend, a major focus was emotional health pressing ahead, and how to have better dialogue in communities. 

“And then, you face this sort of trauma, and you have to deal with that. And a lot of times, we just keep moving forward,” says DJ Reign of WDKX.

“This is the contributor of the physical, the emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse,” says Pastor Marlow Washington.

After the town hall, News 8 spoke with therapist Kara Juszczak, who found herself checking her own emotions. “My first reaction … is sadness,” says Juszczak. She says a lot of this is collective trauma, and affects us all in various forms. 

“So, as we’re experiencing this large-scale crises, I encourage people of having ways of coming back to basics,” she says.

Juszczak says that includes finding simple joys and gratitude, that can allow us to strike an emotional balance between the hurtful stuff, and the things we allow ourselves to engage in. 

“People are coming together as we do during a crisis, and there’s always efforts to find connections,” she says. She says things like the community clean up Sunday is a perfect example of coming together and focusing on positive emotions. It’s a way to heal. 

“So I would encourage people to think ‘are there big changes happening for me emotionally?” If so, Juszczak says it might be time to check your mental health for trauma, and reach out. But the biggest thing we can do right now? “Listen to each other,” she says.

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