When violent crime occurs, the consequences of the event extend beyond those directly affected. Research indicates the negative impact expands into the community, and can result in residents who have only heard about the event experiencing mental distress and reduced quality of life.
With two violent crimes occurring in our city in the last three months – an attempted murder in June and this weekend’s homicide – it is completely normal for some Airdronians to be struggling with how to cope.
It makes sense. If you are feeling unsafe, you might be compelled to skip your morning jog or avoid leaving your home altogether. As a result, people may start to notice a decline in their physical and mental health.
According to HealthyPeople.gov, one study found people who perceive their environment to be less safe from crime may also have higher body-mass-index scores, and higher levels of obesity due to reduced physical activity.
Other signs to pay attention to are changes in sleeping patterns, upset stomach, loss of appetite, anxiety, fear and difficulty concentrating.
While the tendency is to focus on those directly involved or impacted by a crime, it is also good practise to check in with yourself and evaluate if you’re struggling, as well.Mental health is being spoken about more in the mainstream, but the fear of being “labelled” with a disorder remains for many. However, you can’t find relief if you don’t first acknowledge there is a problem.