Addressing mental health in a time of protests, pandemic: 'We are being bombarded with stressors'

MILWAUKEE -- The looming threat of contracting the coronavirus is still very real and our lives have been disrupted.

Heather Paradis

"Stress on top of stress can be really detrimental to individuals' health," said Heather Paradis from the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

Doctors say the strains and uncertainty we've been dealing with for months combined with the heightened civil unrest and quest for equality can really be overwhelming.

"We are being bombarded with stressors," Dr. Barakat said.

It can all manifest itself in different ways.

"Looking for changes in your eating or sleeping patterns, maybe some people might have difficulty concentrating," Paradis said.

Assess how you are coping, and realize when it's time to reach out for professional help.

Dr. Munther Barakat, director of behavioral health for Aurora Health Care suggests ways to cope.

"Maintain a schedule, engaging in mindfulness mediation, eating right," Dr. Barakat said. "Try to control what you can and that what you are watching what you are consuming."

Terri Deroon-Cassini

"Is the distress that you are experiencing whether it`s an uptick depression, uptick in nervousness or anxiety does that interfere with your ability to function in a way In which you are trying to function in your daily life," Terri Deroon-Cassini said.

A new clinic started by Deroon-Cassini, with Froedtert Hospital and MCW has come at just the right time.

"It's a free service to individuals who are stress with due to the pandemic or experienced stress due to the black lives matter protests and are engaged and want to talk through it and how it's impacting them that service is available virtually for free," Deroon-Cassini said.


Experts say the key is to find a connection, to not be isolated and reach out when in need. There are resources available here.