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Psychologists offer tips for managing mental health after the Capitol riots

EVANSTON, Ill. — Two clinical psychologists from Northwestern University are warning that people need to actively manage their mental health, especially that of children, following the violent events at the Capitol last week.

Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She can be reached by contacting Kristin Samuelson at ksamuelson@northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Burnett-Zeigler
“Last week, millions of Americans watched in shock as the Capitol was violently attacked, especially Black, Indigenous and people of color. The fear, anxiety and anger that BIPOC have been feeling over the last couple of days has been all consuming, interferes with carrying out day-to-day tasks and can even cause sleep disruption. In order for us to keep ourselves safe, and manage our mental health, it is important that we limit our news watching and engagement with social media, lean into communities where we feel valued and affirmed and try to maintain hope.”

Dr. Alexandra Solomon is a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychology and a licensed clinical psychologist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. She can be reached by email at ASolomon@family-institute.org.

Quote from Professor Solomon
“Help your kids be informed but not inundated. After 9/11, researchers found that the kids who did the best long term were those whose parents talked with them about what was going on. Parents can ask open-ended questions like: ‘What have you heard about what is happening in our country these days?’ or ‘How are you feeling about what happened at the Capitol?’ ‘How can I support you?’”