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Safety helps stops the insanity

Safety helps stops the insanity Safety helps stops the insanity
Sandra Schiele, Counsel House

This has been a very challenging week for many of my patients at Counsel House in Corydon. Some have refused to leave their homes in fear of being victimized by rioters.

Demonstrations have now hit Corydon. The reality that this unrest has entered into our own hometowns is still very hard for some of my patients to process. Simply going to the store cripples many with anxiety on a good day. Imagine multiplying that fear by 10, and that’s how many are feeling since the rioting and looting have begun. Some of my patients don’t feel like law enforcement is either capable or willing to assist in maintaining order and stability.

Stage 2 of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is safety. If you recall, Maslow listed five stages of needs that must be satisfied in order for people to be healthy: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self actualization.

With the re-opening of Indiana, it’s a double-edged sword. There are still tremendous risks as many people are not practicing social distancing nor wearing masks. This subverts our hierarchy of needs as it poses threats to our physiological needs being met, stage 1.

Safety is now a factor we must consider, stage 2.

On the other edge of the sword, re-opening is a positive step to our new normal. Embrace it. Practice the techniques I’ve given in prior columns. The economy will rebound. The riots will end.

Let’s take a look at stage 3 of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: love and belonging. Let’s be proactive and not allow that stage to be further impacted. Take this time to reflect on what you have, not on what you don’t. Make a list each day of five things for which you’re grateful. Remind yourself of these five things whenever you start feeling anxious, angry or sad. Each day try to add a new one. Think outside the box.

I am grateful that I am able to reach out to so many people through this venue. It’s a blessing.

I also suggest saying one positive thing to each person you see each day. The amount of negativity during this pandemic is affecting everyone. Remind yourself that you’re strong and together we will move forward. Violence is never the right choice in proving one’s point or expressing the anger and fear many people have. It only contributes to an already emotionally charged environment.

Join me next time as we continue to assess how this virus destabilizes those who suffer from behavioral health conditions. Until then, stay safe and stay positive; we will get through this together.

If we can be of assistance to you or a loved one, please contact us at 812-738-3277 or via email at [email protected] You can also access free mental health resources for Hoosiers, endorsed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, at

Editor’s note: Sandra Schiele is a behavioral health specialist.