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Counselor offers ways to deal with racial trauma following videos of shootings

A mental health professional said if seeing videos of minorities getting shot or assaulted on social media is upsetting, talk to a friend or seek counseling.

DES MOINES, Iowa — This month, the public has seen a video of a Black soldier in Virginia with guns drawn on him by law enforcement and get pepper-sprayed. 

The public has also seen videos of a Black man getting shoved and berated by a white soldier in South Carolina, and two minorities being shot by law enforcement

"It's really rough and it's a lot of trauma that I didn't know that I had," Zakariyah Hill, a community member, said in response to having seen those four videos plastered on her social media feed and television. 

"I think when I open my phone and I see another video of a brown, Black, person of color being killed by cops it triggers something and like it seems just endless," Hill said.

She's seen so many of them over the years, that she believes she has become a bit desensitized to them.

"Tomorrow it could be me and I don't want anybody to be desensitized to my passing," Hill said. "I want it to matter, I want it to care and not to just be another hashtag."

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The owner of Innovative Counseling and Consulting Inc., Byron Jarrett, said the reason so many emotions well up in someone like Hill and many other people of color is because "it reminds people there's still two Americas." 

When people see videos like those, the best thing Jarrett says to do is to talk to some about how it makes you feel.

"You need to reach out to somebody and surround yourself with positive people," he said. "The more positive people you surround yourself with the more productive things you'll have."

Another technique to use to keep your mind off the disturbing videos or relax after seeing them is to engage in an activity a person likes.  

For Hill, she makes handmade rugs to keep her calm. 

She also remains hopeful that in the future, assaults against people of color or being shot by law enforcement will not happen as much.

Watch: Black Iowa leaders react to Chauvin trial

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