Experts offer tips for coping with 9/11 anniversary

September 11 can be a difficult day for many, but local health experts say you do not have to make it through alone.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As we get closer to the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, many people all over the country are bracing for the impact of seeing the images shown every year.

“Even though many of us did not experience 9/11 directly, we all remember where we were when it happened,” Macon Mental Health Matters leader Andrea Cooke said.

For some, 9/11 is a time to remember and pay respects to those who lost their lives, but for others the day can be dark and depressing.

Cooke is issuing a reminder to anyone struggling that there is help available.

“Even if you’re not attempting to recall a memory or an instance, one trigger can take you back to an event,” Cooke explained. “One of the things that we’re trying to encourage people to do through the Macon Mental Health Matters initiative is have a counselor in your pocket so that you have someone to talk to in case a crisis arises.”

Macon Mental Health Matters and the Southern Center for Choice Theory are available 24/7 to help people completely free of charge.

However, if your situation is a bit more urgent, that’s where people like Bruce Conn come in.

Conn is a therapist with Piedmont Macon, and he says the media coverage of 9/11 can be re-traumatizing for some.

“We just need to be careful not to over-expose ourselves,” Conn explained. “Not watch all the movies, all the documentaries, really we don’t need to see so much negativity. We do need to honor those people that lost their lives and all the people who dedicated themselves over the past 20 years to fighting these kinds of problems, but in terms of reminding ourselves of that time, that can be a dangerous thing, because it can be overwhelming.”

Piedmont Macon encourages anyone in an immediate crisis to visit the emergency room for help or call their life line at (478) 741-1355.

Local mental health experts want to remind everyone that there is always help available, and if you are struggling, there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help.

A therapist will be available Saturday at the Rosa Jackson Center in Macon. Macon Mental Health Matters also encourages you to be proactive and schedule a time to talk to a therapist if 9/11 is typically a difficult day for you.

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