Dr. George James & Dr. Erica Wilkins Featured on KYW Newsradio: The Psychological Impact for Those Unsettled by Grand Jury’s Decision in Breonna Taylor Case

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – SEPTEMBER 24: People visit a makeshift memorial for Breonna Taylor on September 24, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo credit Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

September 25, 2020 | Many who are unsettled by the Kentucky grand jury findings in the Breonna Taylor shooting death may be feeling the psychological impact of this case.

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed more than six months ago by Louisville Metro police officers, who entered her home while executing a search warrant.

For many, the main point of concern is the idea that your home should be a place where you are safe from the outside world.

While Breonna Taylor may have lived in Kentucky, Richelle Paine of Roxborough said the case has garnered national attention, and the lack of consequences for the police officers who shot her makes her think about her own safety.

“There is no safe place, you know, for a Black person to lay their head,” she said.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. George James said safety is crucial to a person’s psychological well-being.

“You know, even if we go back to some psychology stuff around Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, like, before you can get to purpose and living your life to the fullest, one of the foundational parts is like safety,” he explained.

Dr. Erica Wilkins, program director of the Jefferson University masters of couple and family therapy program [offered in partnership with Council for Relationships], said for people who are struggling right now, be gentle with yourself.

“It is OK not to be OK, and if in this moment they’re not able to be as productive as normal, it’s OK,” Wilkins said.

She added it’s understandable that this case could cause some worry or anxiety in vulnerable populations.