Therapist offers mental health advice during election season


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We are only hours away from Election Day. During these uncertain times, mental health advocates are pushing people to take care of themselves.

“You know that $1,000 is going to be withdrawn, you need to make some deposits,” said Dr. Valencia Agnew, a psychologist with Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Services in Grand Rapids.

Agnew says taking care of your mental health is like a bank account, meaning if you know you’ll potentially get upset about something, it’s best to prepare in advance.

“I feel like a lot of people are running on fumes right now,” said Agnew. “There’s not just the election, it’s the political climate right now. This isn’t a normal election.”

When it comes to being upset, she wants people to know they’re not alone.

“It’s really a very stressful time for everyone. That means it’s important for everyone to do self-care,” said Agnew.

Some forms of self-care can include unplugging, like turning off your phone or television or taking part in different activities such as reading or exercise.

“It can’t be optional. It can’t be I don’t have enough time for it because you will pay a price for not having enough time,” said Agnew.

Come Election Day, Agnew says if you are struggling afterwards, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

“Knowing that the person I vote for may or may not win and thinking about how am I going to be OK,” said Agnew.

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