How viral videos of killings of black men take a toll on black male mental health

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Between the recent videos of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and the circumstances surrounding the investigations into their deaths, Channel 9 spoke with psychotherapist Rwenshaun Miller about the impact this is having on the mental health of black males.

“There are two invisible threats, you know, because we really don’t know who has this hate towards race and then you got COVID-19 so we’re dealing with a plethora of things as you through these times,” he said.

Miller is also the founder Eustress Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on raising mental health awareness in black and brown communities.

“These are conversations that I’ve been having for the longest but really been having a lot with my clients this week,” he said. “We have so many conflicted emotions, it’s fear, it’s anger, it’s sadness, it’s confusion.”

“You always live in a heightened sense of paranoia already as a black man,” he said. “So we’re living in a constant state of paranoia and a constant state of fear, which, it adds stress to your body...that constant stress can really weigh heavy on you.”

He said the stress of it all can impact interaction with family, friends and co-workers.

"Don’t allow that to infiltrate how you are interacting with your loved ones, making sure that you continue to embrace whatever time that you have with them because as we can see, time is precious."

Miller said limiting news and social media consumption is also important.

“Sometimes you have to step away from that and give yourself a break, because it’s sickening and you’ll find yourself going through these emotions over and over and over again, and you’re really not providing yourself with any type of reprieve or finding any solutions.”

You can find local mental health resources here.

Comments on this article