Police Brutality, Coronavirus, Unemployment: How to Mentally Cope with the Crises of 2020


In recent times, the world has been confronted with a multitude of crises, ranging from the long-standing issue of police brutality to the emergence of the global coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent rise in unemployment rates. These crises have not only brought about physical challenges but have also taken a toll on people’s mental well-being. In this article, we delve into the intersectionality of these crises and explore effective ways to cope mentally during such tumultuous times.

Understanding Police Brutality and Its Impact

Historical Context of Police Brutality

The history of police brutality dates back centuries, rooted in systemic issues of power and oppression. Understanding this history is crucial to comprehending the current challenges faced by communities worldwide.

Effects of Police Brutality on Victims and Communities

The impact of police brutality goes beyond physical harm, causing psychological trauma, fear, and distrust within communities. Victims often experience long-term mental health consequences, highlighting the urgent need for systemic reform and accountability.


An image representing the aftermath of police brutality, showing individuals experiencing psychological trauma, fear, and distrust within communities.

The psychological impact of police brutality extends beyond physical harm, leading to long-term mental health consequences.

The Emergence of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health

The pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health issues, leading to heightened anxiety, depression, and loneliness among individuals globally. The uncertainty surrounding the virus and its effects has contributed to a collective sense of unease.

Challenges Faced During Lockdowns and Social Distancing

Lockdowns and social distancing measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 have presented unique challenges, including isolation, financial strain, and disrupted routines. These factors can significantly impact mental well-being, requiring adaptive coping strategies.

The Rise in Unemployment Rates

Economic Stress and Mental Health

Unemployment rates surged during the pandemic, causing financial instability and stress for many individuals and families. The link between economic hardship and mental health issues underscores the need for holistic support systems.

Coping Strategies for Job Loss

Coping with job loss involves resilience-building techniques such as seeking new opportunities, honing skills, and accessing mental health resources. Developing a proactive approach to career transitions can alleviate the mental strain associated with unemployment.


 Image illustrating the impact of pandemic-related unemployment, showing individuals and families experiencing financial stress and instability, emphasizing the connection between economic hardship and mental health issues, and the importance of holistic support systems.

Economic hardships during the pandemic have led to increased stress and financial instability.

Intersectionality of Crises in 2020

Overlapping Effects of Police Brutality, COVID-19, and Unemployment

The crises of 2020 intersect in complex ways, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities. Factors such as race, socioeconomic status, and access to resources amplify the impact of these crises on mental health outcomes.

Unique Challenges for Marginalized Communities

Marginalized communities face unique challenges, including systemic discrimination, limited access to healthcare, and socioeconomic barriers. Addressing these disparities requires inclusive policies and targeted interventions.

Coping Mechanisms for Mental Well-being

Seeking Professional Help and Therapy

Professional therapy and counseling offer valuable support for individuals navigating mental health challenges. Accessible mental health services and destigmatizing conversations about therapy are crucial steps toward recovery.

Building Resilience and Support Networks

Building resilience involves fostering supportive relationships, practicing self-compassion, and developing coping skills. Engaging with community support networks and peer-led initiatives can enhance resilience during crises.


 Image depicting a person in a therapy session, highlighting the value of professional therapy and counseling in providing support for mental health challenges. The image also emphasizes the importance of accessible mental health services and destigmatizing conversations about therapy for recovery.

Professional therapy and accessible mental health services are essential for recovery.

Self-care Practices During Crises

Importance of Self-care Routines

Self-care routines play a vital role in maintaining mental well-being during crises. Prioritizing activities such as exercise, mindfulness, and adequate sleep can bolster resilience and reduce stress levels.

Activities for Relaxation and Stress Relief

Engaging in activities that promote relaxation and stress relief, such as hobbies, meditation, and creative outlets, can provide a much-needed reprieve from crisis-related pressures. Incorporating these activities into daily life fosters emotional balance.

Promoting Social Awareness and Activism

Advocating for Justice and Equality

Advocacy efforts aimed at promoting justice, equality, and systemic reform are integral to addressing the root causes of crises. Amplifying marginalized voices and supporting grassroots movements contribute to societal change.

Community Engagement and Support Initiatives

Community engagement fosters solidarity and collective action in times of crisis. Participating in mutual aid networks, volunteering, and advocating for community resources strengthens social cohesion and resilience.

Image representing advocacy efforts, showing diverse individuals participating in a protest or demonstration, holding signs and banners promoting justice, equality, and systemic reform. The image highlights the importance of amplifying marginalized voices and supporting grassroots movements for addressing root causes of crises and fostering societal change.

Advocacy for justice and systemic reform is crucial for societal change.


In conclusion, navigating the intersecting crises of police brutality, COVID-19, and unemployment requires a multifaceted approach centered on mental well-being. By understanding the interconnectedness of these challenges, advocating for systemic change, prioritizing self-care, and fostering community support, individuals and communities can better cope with adversity and promote resilience.

Unique FAQs

1.How does systemic racism contribute to the mental health impact of police brutality?

Systemic racism exacerbates the mental health impact of police brutality by perpetuating fear, trauma, and distrust within marginalized communities. It creates an environment where individuals, particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), face discrimination, profiling, and disproportionate use of force by law enforcement. This constant threat of violence and injustice leads to psychological distress, including symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression, among those who experience or witness police brutality.

2.What role do governmental policies play in addressing mental health needs during crises?

Governmental policies play a crucial role in addressing mental health needs during crises by allocating resources, funding mental health services, and implementing supportive measures. Policies that prioritize mental health awareness, accessibility to affordable care, crisis intervention training for first responders, and community-based mental health programs contribute to a more comprehensive and responsive approach to mental health care during crises.

3.How can individuals support friends or family members experiencing mental health challenges?

ndividuals can support friends or family members experiencing mental health challenges by:

  • Being empathetic and non-judgmental
  • Encouraging open and honest conversations about mental health
  • Offering practical assistance, such as helping with daily tasks or seeking professional help
  • Educating themselves about mental health conditions and available resources
  • Being a reliable source of emotional support and validation

4.Are there specific coping strategies tailored to different age groups during crises?

Yes, coping strategies can be tailored to different age groups during crises to address their unique needs:

  • Children may benefit from structured routines, creative outlets, and reassurance of safety.
  • Adolescents may find support through peer connections, healthy coping activities, and access to mental health resources.
  • Adults may benefit from stress management techniques, social support networks, and professional counseling.
  • Older adults may find comfort in maintaining social connections, engaging in hobbies, and accessing specialized mental health services for seniors.

5.What resources are available for individuals seeking affordable mental health support?

There are several resources available for individuals seeking affordable mental health support, including:

  • Community mental health centers offering sliding-scale fees based on income
  • Online therapy platforms with affordable options and financial assistance programs
  • Government-sponsored mental health services and hotlines
  • Non-profit organizations providing free or low-cost counseling services
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs) through workplaces offering counseling and support services

A global pandemic, police killings, civil unrest, soaring unemployment: 2020 has been fraught with anxiety-producing events — and it’s only June.

“I have never seen such a convergence of the pillars of our life. All of them have been shaken,” says Dr. Kevin Gilliland, a clinical psychologist, director of Innovation360 and member of PEOPLE’s Health Squad

While some of these events, like police brutality and racial inequality, aren’t new, they’ve been pushed to the forefront in the last few weeks, all while people continue to die from the new coronavirus, COVID-19. And Americans have been suffering mentally because of the instability.

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