Mental health tips while watching Derek Chauvin’s trial

Mental health tips while watching Derek Chauvin’s trial

A local psychologist says a big difference in people being glued to their TVs for other trials, such as the O.J. Simpson trial in the 90s, is people can see actual footage in the Chauvin case thanks to cell phones. Jakoby watches the trial every day and even takes notes in her St. Johns County home.  “O.J. Simpson was a larger-than-life character. He was a football player turned actor. We all knew who he was, whereas what’s going on now, George Floyd was an everyman, and a lot of us can identify with his plight,” David Chesire said.

Seeing footage of Floyd dying and hearing details at the Chauvin trial causes anxiety for Marianne Jakoby. “To see his light extinguished in real life, it was more than my heart could take,” Marianne Jakoby said. 

“I was having nightmares. I couldn’t sleep. I would wake up at 3:30 or 4:30 in the morning unable to go back to sleep,” Jakoby said.  A First Coast psychologist offers some suggestions for people who want to keep up with the trial and keep their mental health in check. 

“We want to make sure we’re not secluding ourselves, which is hard in this day and age. We need to break down those barriers, find ways to connect, and find the sunny side of life too,” Chesire said.  Jakoby has found her way of destressing after watching the trial.  Chesire says to reach out to someone if you feel anxious or depressed watching the trial. That can be a friend, family member, or therapist. 

“We don’t need to expose ourselves 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all the bad news that’s out there, and George Floyd is dominating the news,” Chesire said. ” We need to unplug. We need to put our screens down, and we need to go out and do things that we enjoy.” Psychologist David Chesire is also a professor at UF in Jacksonville, and he has three tips if you feel overwhelmed watching the Chauvin trial. 

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