LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In the middle of protests in Louisville, there has been a group of volunteers behind a table with a sign promoting therapy.
Dozens of mental health professionals in the Kentuckiana area are coming together to help protesters who are dealing with stress or trauma.
A new Facebook group 'Therapists for Protester Wellness' is hoping to create an easier access to the mental health services services. The network is made up of more than 50 mental health professionals. Some of them receive five to 10 calls each day.
"We often don't seek help until it's almost too late so our goal was to be present and be around for protesters to say 'we're here, we're here to help you,'" volunteer at Therapists for Protestor Wellness, Leah Hastings said.
From the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to the reckoning on race, the volunteers say the events can cause anxiety or depression.
"There's been a lot of protesters who've just wanted immediate crisis counseling, who just wanted someone to talk to on the phone after a rough day," founder and member of Therapists for Protestor Wellness, Millicent Cahoon said. "Then there's some who've actually signed up for ongoing services."
The volunteers have staged a table at almost every march or rally to spread awareness and provide support on-site.
"Sometimes you see someone struggling, you see someone running from the police, you see someone who just watched their loved one get arrested and they are just in panic mode," Hastings said. "[We're] checking in on people if we see them struggling and promoting the fact that taking care of your mental health is taking care of your wellness.”
As the city waits for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's decision in the Breonna Taylor case, the counselors said they are prepared to respond and have extra people on-call.
The group commits to being around as long as there is a need. To learn more about Therapists for Protestor Wellness click here.