02 Jul FIREWORKS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Every year, Kentuckians set off thousands of fireworks.
While there are legal issues if you set off fireworks, we all know they will happen sometime in our neighborhoods.
But did you know fireworks can be a mental health issue for your neighbors?
For some, hearing a firework near their home begins a cycle of intense fear, flashbacks to past events, and even paranoia for several days.
Post Traumatic Stress can happen in anyone who has experienced trauma. Victims of gun violence, military veterans, immigrants from war-torn countries, and many others could have damaging, negative experiences because of your celebration.
If you are going to set off personal fireworks somewhere, please use the following tips to minimize the mental health damage to your neighbors:
- Limit the fireworks to scheduled times in your area, or the July 4th holiday.
- Alert your neighbors of any plans you have, with enough notice they can leave or take precautions.
- Don’t set off fireworks after 11:00 pm. Later fireworks are less expected, and reactions can be worse.
- Be willing to stop when someone asks.
If you are experiencing PTSD, some tips for you:
- Purchase noise-canceling headphones. These can muffle the sounds and sometimes even eliminate them.
- Plan to be somewhere you feel safe and secure for the 4th of July weekend.
- Be upfront with those around you about your potential reaction.
- Talk to your therapist about other ways you can tailor interventions to your unique needs.
If you are concerned you or a loved one has PTSD, please take a free mental health screening at mhaky.org/mental-health-screenings.html. If you need more information, please reach out to us at 859-684-7778 (call or text) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.