On Friday, August 5, 2022, the Indiana General Assembly (state Senate and state House of Representatives) voted to ban abortion in Indiana. Before the clock struck midnight, Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB 1 into law, taking away reproductive rights from women, non-binary people, and transgender men who have a uterus. As of September 15, 2022, bodily autonomy will no longer exist in the oppressive state of Indiana.
Given that information, how could anyone with the physical capacity to become pregnant, not feel: violated, disrespected, persecuted, subjugated, and tyrannized?
Business owners, executives, and managers need to understand that many employees are quietly suffering from chronic trauma. Two plus years of a pandemic, innumerable social injustices, monkeypox emergency, and now a major human rights violation are very good reasons for people not to be their best selves at work. More than half of the residents of Indiana are under very serious psychological duress. That includes the male allies who have been fighting to protect women’s reproductive rights alongside us.
We're at a point where we don’t just need to “give people some grace” or give them a day off, we need to give them the ongoing support and tools they need to heal. Following is a list of resources that can help our employees, family, and friends access the help that works for them.
Don’t keep it bottled up - get it out safely. There are numerous therapists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists who are still taking on new patients. These educated experts have the experience and credentials to guide you back to a psychologically healthier state of being. They are better prepared to help you compared to a friend or family member.
Visit Psychology Today and use keywords to search for someone who can help you. There are some excellent filters that can help you refine your search including: location, fees, if they accept insurance, LGBTQ+ allied, religious affiliation, trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. You can email or call the expert to set up a time to become acquainted and see if they would be a good fit for what you are going through.
The BetterHelp platform prompts visitors with questions and then does the matchmaking for you. Fees are up front. They have mental health professionals from around the world in this directory. This is particularly valuable if you are looking for someone who has had the same life experience as you. You can create an account and start looking for help without having to spend a penny. Keep in mind, if you work with someone from out of town, the conversation will be via a Zoom-like platform.
Unfortunately, too many people have suicidal thoughts, and in severe cases begin to make a plan to end their life. If you are having any suicidal thoughts, you need to reach out for help now. There is a free suicide and crisis hotline in Indiana - simply dial 988.
Additional links and phone numbers to organizations focused on those experiencing suicidal thoughts can be found at the suicide prevention resource locator.
Kelsey (Steuer) Aaron is a wonderful and compassionate human and friend and the Indiana Area Director at American Foundation for Suicide. She leads an incredible organization that helps those considering suicide and those who love people who are struggling with their mental health.
Their website has a trove of resources. What they say on their homepage is absolutely true,
“You are not alone.” There are plenty of people around you who care, understand, and want to help you. If you cannot talk to the people closest to you, you can talk with the folks in this community.
I still have not cried yet and that is not my normal. I’m operating in survival mode which keeps me focused on the task at hand. I am scheduling a day off to think about my thoughts and feel my feelings in regard to this draconian legislation.
Here are some links to resources that may help you process the loss.
You took the day off and feel compelled to start doing chores or check your phone. Don’t do it. Just rest. If you can, rest longer.
You are loved! Even if you are at odds with the people closest to you, know that in this moment, you are lovable and worthy of love. There are people ready to provide you with the care and support you need and they are just a text, phone call, or email away. You are going to be OK.