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George Floyd's death sparks need for mental health help

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The death of George Floyd became a worldwide rallying cry for racial justice, but for some, it also sparked a need for help.

Video Transcript

- Today, we take a closer look at the mental health impact of the death of George Floyd had on many people, many still struggling with the injustice they saw caught on camera. Race and Culture Reporter Crystal Cranmore with more.

CRYSTAL CRANMORE: George Floyd's death didn't just become a worldwide rallying cry for justice. For some, it sparked a need for help.

CHRISTIANA AWOSAN: We saw an increase in our practice, about close to 50%.

CRYSTAL CRANMORE: The founder of Ibisanmi Relational Health in Maplewood, New Jersey says she's been seeing clients with racial trauma, which can include feelings of depression, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts.

CHRISTIANA AWOSAN: Or even another thing that we've been hearing is a lot of our clients to feel like, I don't want to step out of my house. So I'm afraid when a family member step out of the house because I don't know if that's the last time I'll see them again.

CRYSTAL CRANMORE: The best way she says to deal with the pain--

CHRISTIANA AWOSAN: When we don't externalize it, it sits in our bodies.

CRYSTAL CRANMORE: Talk about it, whether it's with a therapist or friend.

AQEELA SHERRILLS: It's been triggering.

CRYSTAL CRANMORE: It's what the leader of the Newark Community Street Team did.

AQEELA SHERRILLS: We're a complementary strategy to policing in the city.

CRYSTAL CRANMORE: After watching the video of George Floyd's murder last May, he's also seen a rise in people seeking therapy.

AQEELA SHERRILLS: We opened the trauma center, the TRC, in September. We've already seen over 170, you know, community members. It really says that folks are really reaching out to look for support.

CRYSTAL CRANMORE: Experts say Black people culturally have avoided seeking therapy for years due to the stigma.

CHRISTIANA AWOSAN: It's also this fear of, I don't want to put my family's business out there.

CRYSTAL CRANMORE: But more representation in the industry could be driving the demand for help.