Transcript: Is There Relief from Grief? | May 06, 2021

Steve sits in a room with white walls, a low slanted ceiling and several framed pictures on the walls including one of Walter Kronkite. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a pale blue shirt and a spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Is there relief from grief? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE LOST LOVED ONES DURING THIS PANDEMIC. AND, TRUTHFULLY, EVERYONE HAS LOST SOMETHING. EVEN IF IT'S JUST SOME OF THE JOYS OF EVERY DAY LIFE. IN BIG AND SMALL WAYS, GRIEF HAS DEFINED THIS PAST YEAR. WITH US FOR SOME HELP FINDING THE WAY PAST ALL OF THAT, IN THE WEST END OF THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, WE WELCOME LISA ROBINSON, REGISTERED SOCIAL WORKER AND GRIEF COUNSELOR AT ANDREA WARNICK CONSULTING...

Lisa is in her thirties, with long blond hair. She's wearing glasses and a black sweater.

Steve continues AND IN THE DOWNTOWN CORE, BAILEY PARNELL, FOUNDER AND RESEARCHER AT THE SOCIAL MEDIA RESEARCH ORGANIZATION SafeSocial...

Bailey is in her thirties, with long wavy auburn hair. She's wearing a gray sweater.

Steve continues IT'S GOOD TO HAVE BOTH OF YOU ON TVO TONIGHT. LET'S DIVE IN WITH THIS. YOU KNOW, SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MOST PLEASANT PLACE EVEN ON THE BEST OF DAYS AND WE HAVEN'T HAD THE BEST OF DAYS OVER THE PAST YEAR AND MORE. BAILEY, START US OFF: HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC EXACERBATED THE AMOUNT OF BAD NEWS WE'RE CONSUMING ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

The caption changes to "Bailey Parnell. #SafeSocial."

Bailey says I THINK YOU'VE ANSWERED IT THERE IN THE QUESTION THAT THAT'S COMPLETELY EXACERBATED THE AMOUNT OF BAD NEWS WE'RE SEEING. BECAUSE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC WE WERE STILL SEEING AN OVERCONSUMPTION OF NEGATIVE, HURTFUL OR TRAUMATIC NEWS ON THE NEWS BUT THE PANDEMIC SUDDENLY FELT LIKE EVERYBODY FELT LIKE THEY HAD TO BE ONLINE OR I MIGHT BE MISSING SOMETHING THAT IS HUGE IN THE GLOBAL NARRATIVE. MAYBE SURPRISING TO BOTH OF YOU WHEN THE PANDEMIC FIRST HIT SafeSocial GOT MESSAGES FROM AROUND THE WORLD SAYING I JUST CAN'T PUT IT DOWN. SO THE SORT OF IMAGERY AND HAPPENINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED BECAUSE OF THAT, SUCH AS THE RISE IN MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AND THE SORT OF CIVIL CONCERNS AND THE JUSTICE ISSUES THAT HAVE ALL BEEN COMBINING TO JUST OVERWHELM PEOPLE COMPLETELY ON SOCIAL MEDIA RIGHT NOW.

Steve says LISA, YOU CAN SORT OF UNDERSTAND THE FOMO AS KIDS CALL IT, THE FEAR OF MISSING OUT.

Lisa says RIGHT.

Steve says IN ADDITION TO THE BAD STUFF, EPIDEMIOLOGISTS ARE ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA AS WELL. THERE IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET GOOD INFORMATION BUT YOU HAVE TO WADE THROUGH A LOT OF THE CRAP BEFORE YOU GET TO THE GOOD STUFF. HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT ON MOST DAYS?

The caption changes to "Lisa Robinson. Andrea Warnick Consulting. @AWC_Grief."

Lisa says I THINK IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO GO THROUGH ALL OF THAT. AND I THINK THERE'S A REALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON HOW WE'RE ALL DOING. I COME FROM A GRIEF LENS OBVIOUSLY. SO GRIEF ITSELF PLAYS A REALLY BIG ROLE IN THIS. AND BAILEY MADE A REALLY GOOD POINT: WE'RE TRYING TO CONSUME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND WE DON'T WANT TO LOSE ANY OF THE INFORMATION. AND I THINK WE HAVE THIS FALSE NARRATIVE IN OUR HEAD THAT IF WE HAVE ALL OF THE INFORMATION THEN WE CAN BE MORE IN CONTROL IN TOUGH SITUATIONS. AND BEING IN CONTROL EQUALS FEELING SAFE AS A HUMAN BEING. AND THAT IS NOT THE TRUTH. WE CONSUME ALL OF THIS INFORMATION AND WE'RE STILL LEFT FEELING HEAVIER AND MORE DISTRESSED. AND BEING FACED WITH GRIEF STORY AFTER GRIEF STORY THROUGH THAT.

Steve says LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT AN EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE. THIS IS... And OF COURSE WE DO NEED A BREAK FROM THIS EVERY NOW AND THEN HERE IS A PIECE FROM KAREN KAY HO WHO HAD THIS TO SAY. HI, ARE YOU DOOM SCROLLING? HOW ABOUT TAKING A HOT SHOWER AND GOING TO BED EARLY TONIGHT? TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF ALWAYS MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER AND GIVES YOU MORE ENERGY TO TACKLE TOMORROW'S CHALLENGES. THAT SOUNDS LIKE EXCELLENT ADVICE BUT THERE IS A WORD I HADN'T SEEN BEFORE, BAILEY, WHAT'S "DOOM SCROLLING."

The caption changes to "Bailey Parnell, @BaileyParnell."

Bailey says DOOM SCROLLING HAS BEEN PART OF THE VERNACULAR. I THINK THAT'S BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE ENCOUNTERING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. WHAT DOOM SCROLLING IS ESSENTIALLY THE OVERCONSUMPTION OF NEGATIVE NEWS, OR THE DOOM OF THE WORLD ON SOCIAL MEDIA. THE SCROLLING PART IS YOU CAN'T STOP. LIKE YOU HAVE TO KEEP SON ASSUMING THIS BAD NEWS. THERE ARE A LOT OF REASONS FOR IT THAT I AM SURE LISA AND I BOTH ENCOUNTERED IN THE LAST YEAR BUT IT'S DEFINITELY ON THE RISE. I THINK JUST DEFINING IT FOR PEOPLE HERE HELPS THEM TO GIVE THEM THE LANGUAGE TO EXPLAIN THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES.

Steve says LISA WHY DON'T YOU PICK UP ON THAT. IF WE KNOW IT'S NOT GOOD FOR US WHY DO WE DO IT?

Lisa says YEAH, SIMILAR TO WHAT I SAID EARLIER, WE WANT TO FEEL IN CONTROL. EVERYTHING FEELS OUT OF CONTROL. WE'RE LIVING IN A WORLD THAT IS VERY NEW. THINGS ARE CHANGING CONSTANTLY. WE ARE WATCHING PEOPLE'S LIVES FALL APART AND THEN ALSO DEALING WITH OUR OWN PERSONAL WHATEVER THE EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN IN THE PANDEMIC. AND SO WE'RE GRASPING FOR STRAWS AS FAR AS WHAT MAKES US FEEL IN CONTROL AND HOW CAN WE BETTER UNDERSTAND THIS. AND I THINK AS WE DOOM SCROLL WE FEEL LIKE IF I CAN GET MORE INFORMATION, IF I CAN UNDERSTAND THIS MORE, THEN I CAN FEEL BETTER ABOUT THIS. I CAN FEEL SAFER. AND I THINK OFTEN WE'RE JUST LOOKING FOR SOME SENSE OF SAFETY OR STABILITY. AND IN A PANDEMIC WORLD, THAT IS REALLY HARD TO FIND RIGHT NOW. SO WE CONTINUE TO SIT THERE AND GO THROUGH AND THINK THAT WILL FILL THAT NEED. BUT THERE'S A DISCONNECT THERE.

The caption changes to "For more stories and information: TVO.org/MentalHealthWeek."

Steve says YEAH, BAILEY, I'M SURE WE ALL KNOW PEOPLE WHO ARE... NEVER MIND THEY MISSED A BIRTHDAY LAST YEAR, THEY MISSED AN ANNIVERSARY. THEY MISSED AN EVENT OF SIGNIFICANCE, A WEDDING, A GRADUATION OR WHATEVER, THEY'RE NOW COMING UP ON YEAR TWO OF THAT. THEY'RE NOW MISSING TWO BIRTHDAYS, TWO WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES, TWO GRADUATIONS, WHATEVER. HOW IS THE TENDENCY TO GRIEVE THESE LOSSES ONLINE IN YOUR JUDGMENT, AFFECTING ALL OF OUR COLLECTIVE MENTAL HEALTH?

Bailey says WELL, STEVE I CAN ACTUALLY SAY THAT I AM A PART OF THAT GROUP ON MORE THAN ONE FRONT. I TO POSTPONE MY WEDDING IN DECEMBER 2020 TO DECEMBER 2021. JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO WE POSTPONED IT INDEFINITELY NOT REALLY KNOWING WHEN THIS WOULD HAPPEN... NOT THE MARRIAGE BUT THE WEDDING. AND THEN ALSO IN SADDER NEWS, ACTUALLY, IN JUST A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO, WE LOST MY MOM TO CANCER. AND IT WAS REALLY HARD. AND WE WEREN'T ABLE TO HAVE ANY KIND OF MEMORIAL OR FUNERAL. AND HONESTLY RIGHT NOW IT STILL FEELS LIKE AN OPEN WOUND THAT WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO CLOSE THE SORT OF BOOK ON IN A WEIRD WAY. SO I'M REALLY FEELING FROM FIRST-PERSON EXPERIENCE WHAT EVERYONE IS GOING THROUGH. AND I THINK THAT COMING UP ON THE SECOND YEAR OF ALL OF THIS, EVERYONE REALLY NOW MORE THAN EVER NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THE RISKS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA AND HOW THIS CAN EITHER CONTRIBUTE TO IT OR IF WE NEED TO TAKE A BREAK. IT CAN MAYBE HELP OUR MENTAL HEALTH A LITTLE BIT. AND WHEN I LOST MY MOM, BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE TODAY, I KNEW RIGHT AWAY I'M NOT GOING ON SOCIAL MEDIA. I NEED A WEEK OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA. BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO SEE THERE. IT IS A RISK EVERY TIME I LOG ON THAT I'M GOING TO BE RE-TRAUMATIZED FROM SOMETHING IN THE PAST. OR THAT I WILL SEE EVEN MORE PHOTOS OF HER, EVEN MORE STORIES OF HER. SO I KNEW I JUST NEED A BREAK. AND AT THE SAME TIME I WAS GETTING ALL OF THESE MESSAGES FROM ALL OF MY FRIENDS WANTING TO SUPPORT AND SHARE STORIES WITH HER BUT I KNEW BECAUSE OF WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY I JUST NEEDED A BREAK.

Steve says CAN I JUST SAY CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF YOUR MOTHER. THAT'S TOUGH AT THE BEST OF TIMES HOW OLD WAS SHE?

Lisa says 54.

Steve says I'M REALLY SORRY THAT'S WAY, WAY TOO YOUNG. I KNOW SOMEONE ELSE WHO LOST THEIR MOTHER IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS AND THEY TRIED TO WAIT FOR THE FUNERAL AND ENABLE MORE PEOPLE TO GET TOGETHER TO GRIEVE AND THE REALITY IS WE'RE STILL IN THE THIRD WAVE AND SO THE FUNERAL GOES ON WITH EVEN A VERY DIMINISHED NUMBER OF PEOPLE ATTENDING TO IT. LISA, GIVE US YOUR BEST ADVICE ON THAT KIND OF THING. THESE ARE REALLY VERY TRICKY PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO GET THROUGH. AND SOUNDS LIKE BAILEY'S ADVICE ABOUT JUST GETTING OFF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR A WHOLE WEEK MAY BE THE WAY TO GO WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Lisa says YEAH, I THINK OUR BODY, OUR BRAIN, GRIEF LIVES IN BOTH PLACES. AND WHAT BAILEY WAS SAYING, GOING ON AND JUST HAVING TO FEEL THAT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, IT'S A LOT. AND IT'S VERY HEAVY. AND SO WHEN WE'RE DEALING WITH THAT, WE HAVE RITUALS, WE HAVE MOURNING, WE HAVE FUNERALS. ALL THESE THINGS FOR A REASON BECAUSE IT GIVES THAT CONSTRUCTED SPACE TO REMEMBER, TO CONNECT, TO FEEL. AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE... I KNOW IN THE ABSENCE OF A FUNERAL OR HOWEVER YOU WOULD NORMALLY CELEBRATE A LIFE, IT'S REALLY HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED. BUT FINDING SOME RITUAL, SOME WAY TO MOURN IS REALLY IMPORTANT. AND IT MIGHT BE A SMALLER VERSION THAN YOU WOULD HOPE, MOVING FORWARD. AND YOU CAN STILL DO THAT. BUT WE REALLY DO NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT. AND THEN JUST THE FEELINGS THAT COME UP ABSOLUTELY TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. YOU DON'T KNOW. IT'S A MINE FIELD OUT THERE WHAT MIGHT SHOW UP AS YOU'RE SCROLLING THROUGH. AND GRIEF IS CUMULATIVE. THERE IS CUMULATIVE GRIEF. WE HAVE OUR OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND WE'RE READING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCES AND THAT TRIGGERS A SIMILAR RESPONSE. SO IT'S NOT LIKE WE CAN COMPARTMENTALIZE THOSE THINGS FROM A MENTAL WELL-BEING PERSPECTIVE. AND I DO THINK WE OFTEN WANT TO PATHOLOGIZE GRIEF BECAUSE IT FEELS SO TERRIBLE AND SO HEAVY. BUT REMEMBERING AND REMINDING YOURSELF THIS IS A TOTALLY NORMAL HUMAN PROCESS. AND UNFORTUNATELY WE DO LIKE TO TRY TO MAKE IT FIT INTO A BOX BECAUSE IT IS MESSY AND IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE. AND WE HAVE CERTAIN MODELS OUT THERE AND THE NARRATIVE HAS OFTEN BEEN THERE ARE CERTAIN RIGHT WAYS AND WRONG WAYS TO GRIEVE. BUT I THINK THE BEST THING YOU CAN REMIND YOURSELF OF IS THIS IS REALLY HARD. I CAN FEEL HARD FEELINGS. I CAN MOVE THROUGH THIS AND THERE'S NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO DO IT. AND ESPECIALLY IN THIS WORLD NOW ALL BETS ARE OFF SO TO SPEAK. SO FIGURING OUT WHAT YOU NEED IS GOING TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT. AND RECOGNIZING THAT YOUR PROCESS IS GOING TO LOOK REALLY DIFFERENT. AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE EVEN STEPPING AWAY SOMETIMES FROM SOME OF THE GRIEF FOCUSED SOCIAL MEDIA. LIKE ACCOUNTS OUT THERE THAT SPEAK TO GRIEF EDUCATION BECAUSE YOU JUST DON'T KNOW IF WHAT THEY'RE SAYING IS GOING TO FIT FOR YOU. AND SO BEING REALLY CAUTIOUS OF WHAT YOUR INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE IS.

Steve says BAILEY, WHAT ARE YOU HEARING OR SEEING OUT THERE ABOUT WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY OVERCONSUME SOCIAL MEDIA AND OVERINDULGE IN THAT THEIR GRIEF IF I CAN PUT IT THAT WAY.

Bailey says I DEFINE A RISKY BEHAVIOUR WHERE SOMETHING WHEN YOU PARTICIPATE YOU EXPOSE YOURSELF TO POTENTIAL HARM. LIKE DRINKING AND DO I STILL HAVE A GLASS OF WINE? YES, I DO. BUT HAVE I LEARNED HOW TO DO IT SAFELY AND NOT USE IT AS AN UNSUSTAINABLE COPING STRATEGY? I HAVE ALSO DONE THAT. AND SO WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA IS I'M STILL OUT THERE TEACHING PEOPLE, HEY, THIS IS A RISKY BEHAVIOUR. I'M STILL IN THAT CONVERSATION SAYING WHEN YOU PARTICIPATE, YOU EXPOSE YOURSELF TO POTENTIAL ANXIETY, STRESS, TRAUMATIC IMAGERY AND, THEREFORE, PTSD WHICH IS REALLY ON THE RISE THIS YEAR. ESPECIALLY WITH RACE ISSUES. SO THIS IS COMPOUNDED FOR BLACKS PEOPLE, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, AND OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOUR AND, AS LISA SAID, GRIEF IS COMPOUNDED SO NOW WE'VE GOT THE SORT OF SOCIAL ISSUES, THE INTERSECTIONAL LENS. YOU EXPOSE YOURSELF TO STRESS. LOST PRODUCTIVITY, FATIGUE. THE LIST GOES ON AND ON OF THESE RISKS. AND SO WHAT HAPPENS IS IF PEOPLE ARE UNAWARE OF THESE RISKS, THEN THEY DON'T MITIGATE AGAINST THE RISKS LIKE THEY WOULD WITH DRINKING, UNDERSTANDING HOW TO DO IT SAFELY. AND SO THEY JUST DIVE IN. THEY'RE DESIGNED TO BE ADDICTIVE AND BY EVERY MEASURE RIGHT NOW THERE IS MASS ADDICTION IN SOCIAL MEDIA AND WITHOUT MITIGATING THOSE RISKS THEY ENTER INTO THEM ALMOST WITHOUT SEEING IT EVER EVEN HAPPENING SUDDENLY I'M FEELING DEPRESSED AND I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY AND THEN THEY HAVEN'T MADE THE CONNECTION YET, OH, I JUST SPENT AN HOUR ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT I LOOKED AT.

Steve says LISA I DON'T KNOW IF THIS QUESTION IS ANSWERABLE. LET'S GIVE IT A SHOT ANY WAY BECAUSE IT'S DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE. BUT GENERALLY SPEAKING HOW MUCH GRIEF CAN THE AVERAGE PERSON HANDLE?

Lisa says THE ANSWER IS THERE IS NO DEFINED ANSWER. IT'S VERY INDIVIDUAL. WHAT I WILL SAY IS JUST REMEMBERING THAT WE DIDN'T WALK INTO THIS EXPERIENCE AS BLANK PAGES. WE HAVE CARRIED OUT GRIEF THAT EXISTED EVEN BEFORE COVID AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO CARRY THAT THROUGH. SO RECOGNIZING THIS VERY, AS BAILEY SAID, COMPOUNDING EXPERIENCE OF GRIEF AND BEING GENTLE WITH YOURSELF IS VERY IMPORTANT. AND IF YOU'RE WONDERING IF YOUR GRIEF IS TOO MUCH, THAT'S PROBABLY AN INDICATOR THAT IT'S TIME TO FIND AN OUTLET FOR IT. BECAUSE GRIEF BECOMES HEAVY AND IT BECOMES HARD AND IT BECOMES TOO MUCH WHEN WE'RE NOT PROCESSING IT. WHEN WE'RE NOT GIVING OUT THOSE FEELINGS AND THOSE THOUGHTS THE SPACE THAT THEY NEED. SO I ALWAYS SAY TO PEOPLE WHEN IS IT TOO MUCH FOR ME TO CARRY? IF YOU'RE ASKING ME THAT QUESTION, I THINK IT MIGHT BE TIME TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO PROCESS THAT. AND IT CAN BE PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT THROUGH A GRIEF COUNSELOR OR A GROUP. GROUPS ARE STILL RUNNING ONLINE. OR IF YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT WAY THAT WORKS FOR YOU, THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO PROCESS GRIEF. AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE WITH PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT NECESSARILY.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says LISA LET ME DO THIS FOLLOW UP WITH YOU.

Lisa says YEAH.

Steve says I WONDER, WHEN I TALK TO OLDER ADULTS I HEAR THIS ALL THE TIME: I'M SICK AND TIRED OF BURYING MY FRIENDS. ONE THE DOWNSIDES OF GETTING OLDER IS THAT YOU LOSE MORE OF YOUR FRIENDS AND COMPANIONS. HAVING SAID THAT, DOES THAT GIVE OLDER PEOPLE A GREATER RESILIENCY AND FRANKLY MORE EXPERIENCE IN HOW TO WADE THROUGH THE MINE FIELD THAT IS THE SUBJECT WE'RE DISCUSSING?

Lisa says I THINK IS DEPENDS ON THE PERSON. IF YOU TALK ABOUT, CUMULATIVE GRIEF IS NOT TIME BOUND, RIGHT. IF WE TALK ABOUT THIS IDEA THAT MORE YEARS LIVED GIVES SPACE FOR MORE GRIEF EXPERIENCES, THAT IN AND OF ITSELF CAN BE QUITE A COMPOUNDING FACTOR. AND IF YOU'RE LEAVING GRIEF UNPROCESSED, IT'S NOT LIKE OH, THE MORE IMMEDIATE PIECE OF GRIEF IS NOW TAKING PRECEDENCE. IT ALL EXISTS TOGETHER. AND WITH THAT, SOME PEOPLE IN THEIR OLDER AGE ARE CARRYING A LOT MORE. AND WHAT WE KNOW MORE AND MORE WITH STUDY IS THAT WE DON'T JUST CARRY THAT MEMORY IN OUR BRAIN. WE CARRY IT IN OUR BODY. AND SO IT'S A VERY INTERESTING EXPERIENCE FOR OLDER FOLKS BECAUSE IT MIGHT BE THAT IT'S MANIFESTING IN MORE PHYSICAL HEALTH WAYS OR MORE JUST MORE DISCOMFORT IN THEIR BODIES AS WELL. I THINK THAT IF YOU'VE BEEN THROUGH GRIEF AND YOU'VE HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE IN PROCESSING IT ACTIVELY BECAUSE GRIEF IS NOT A PASSIVE PROCESS BY ANY MEANS. WE NEED TO WORK AT IT. WE DON'T ALWAYS NATURALLY KNOW HOW TO GRIEVE OR WE BLOCK OURSELVES FROM ACTUALLY GRIEVING BECAUSE IT FEELS TERRIBLE. SO IF THEY'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRACTICE THAT, THEN PROBABLY, YEAH, THEY'RE GOING TO BE MORE RESILIENT. THEY'RE GOING TO KNOW WHAT THEIR COPING SKILLS ARE AND THEY'RE GOING TO GO TO THEM QUICKLY AND EASILY. IF IT'S BEEN THE EXPERIENCE WHERE GRIEF HAS BEEN VERY HIDDEN FOR THEM AND THEY'VE HAD TO KIND OF PUSH IT DOWN THEN I WOULD ARGUE THAT IT MIGHT ACTUALLY EVEN BE MORE MAGNIFIED FOR THEM IN THIS EXPERIENCE AND COMBINED WITH THE ISOLATION AND JUST THE MEDIA WITH LONG-TERM CARE HOMES AND EVERYTHING, THAT'S A LOT OF SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR OLDER ADULTS AND SCARY INFORMATION.

Steve says WE JUST PASSED IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, OUR eight-thousandth DEATH LAST WEEK DUE TO COVID-19. AND I WANT TO ASK THE QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE GETTING NUMB TO THE NUMBERS. AND TO THAT END, TONY I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO BRING THIS QUOTE BOARD UP AND I WILL READ THIS: TALKING TO CFRM NEWS, VARDIT RAVITSKY CHAIR OF THE COVID-19 IMPACT COMMITTEE OF THE TRUDEAU FOUNDATION SAID...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Are we numb to the numbers?" The quote reads "'If your friends and families are hit, then you're totally there with them but when the number is 5000 you lose the ability to put a face on it. We're already desensitized to the loss of human life that occurs far away from us. But this is happening here. This is our neighbours. So it's sort of like a new level of being desensitized."
Vardit Ravitsky, as quoted by CTVNews.ca. April 23, 2021.

Steve says BAILEY, CAN YOU PICK UP ON THAT? ARE PEOPLE BECOMING NUMB TO THE FACT THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, EVEN THEIR LOVED ONES WHO ARE DYING IN NUMBERS SUCH THAT WE ARE BECOMING DESENSITIZED TO IT?

Bailey says I ABSOLUTELY THINK THAT PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS SINCE SOCIAL MEDIA HAS BECOME UBIQUITOUS HAVE BECOME MORE DESENSITIZED TO TRAUMA OF ALL KINDS. AND I LOVE WHAT THEY'VE SAID THERE, HIGHLIGHTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THAT TRAUMA AND WHAT WE'RE SEEING BEING SO FAR AWAY. IT'S ALMOST LIKE I CAN RATIONALIZE IN MY HEAD A FEW YEARS AGO THAT IT'S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. NOW IT'S HAPPENING RIGHT BESIDE US BUT STILL IT DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT OUR BRAIN, AS WAS SAID, CANNOT REALLY JUSTIFY OR UNDERSTAND BIG NUMBERS TO THAT DEGREE. WE CAN CALCULATE THEM BUT WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT CROWDS, FOR EXAMPLE, OUR BRAIN, NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE IN OUR BRAIN BETWEEN 100,000 AND 200,000 WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A CROWD. NOT EVEN THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1 MILLION AND 2 MILLION IN A CROWD. AND NOW WE'RE TALKING ABOUT 5,000 AND 8,000. AND I THINK THAT THE NUMBER ITSELF IS NOT ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE TO REALLY FEEL THE IMPACT OF THIS UNLESS YOU ARE PERSONALLY AFFECTED. AND I WANT TO KIND OF FOLLOW UP TO SOMETHING THAT LISA AND YOU WERE BOTH SAYING EARLIER AS WELL. OUR BRAINS ARE IN A STATE OF... OUR BRAINS ARE TRYING TO KEEP US LIKE PSYCHOLOGICALLY SAFE. IT'S ONLY WHEN THESE THREATS OR KNEES STRESSORS COME THAT IT KIND OF HAS TO NOTICE. SO WE'RE ACTUALLY PRIMED TO NOTICE ALL OF THESE NEGATIVE STORIES. I THINK THAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE DOOM SCROLLING. IT CONTRIBUTES TO HOW WE'RE INTERPRETING THE NEWS ABOUT COVID AND MAKES US FEEL LIKE, OKAY, IN ORDER TO BE SAFE I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE THREATS. AND THEN BECAUSE OF NEGATIVITY BIAS OF OUR BRAIN AS WELL, NOT ONLY DO WE SCAN FOR THE NEGATIVE INFORMATION, IT'S STORED IN OUR LONG-TERM BRAIN MUCH QUICKER. SO WE SEE NEWS LIKE 8,000 PEOPLE HAVE COVID. AND WE'RE STORING THAT. BUT THAT'S NOT REALLY BEING STORED AS MUCH AS THE IMMEDIATE THREAT OF THAT ONE PERSON WHO WAS AT THE STORE WHERE I LIVED THAT GOT COVID.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK GRIEF COUNSELORS THIS, LISA SO I'M GOING TO ASK YOU: A HARD JOB IN THE MIDDLE OF A VERY HARD TIME AND YOU HEAR A LOT OF MISERY OUT THERE. WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DOES THAT HAVE ON YOU?

Lisa says IT DEFINITELY HAS AN IMPACT. I MUST SAY THAT THIS LAST YEAR WE'VE SEEN A HUGE INCREASE AT ANDREA WARNICK CONSULTING AND THE NUMBER OF CLIENTS COMING THROUGH. AND THERE IS THE PROFESSIONAL KIND OF... OR THE MORE DISTANT EXPERIENCE OF IT. AND THEN NOT ONLY DO I CARRY MY PROFESSIONAL LENS BUT OBVIOUSLY I CARRY PART OF MYSELF INTO THE WORK, TOO. SO IT'S REALLY WATCHING MYSELF AND WHAT'S BEING TRIGGERED WITHIN ME AND NOTICING WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY BODY AND EVERYTHING LIKE THAT. AND OBVIOUSLY I DIDN'T GET INTO THIS WORK WITHOUT SOME COPING SKILLS IN PLACE SO I REALLY DOUBLED DOWN ON ALL OF THAT AND MAKING SURE THAT I'M FINDING A BALANCE AND IN THE NUMBER OF CLIENTS THAT I AM SEEING HAND I'M PROCESSING WHAT I'M HEARING, VISITING MY OWN THERAPIST ON A REGULAR BASIS. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE SO IMPORTANT TO BE ABLE TO HOLD THE THINGS THAT YOU'RE BEING TOLD. AND I THINK SOMETHING THAT IS ALSO REALLY IMPORTANT NOT JUST IN THE WORK THAT I DO BUT IN WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW IS RECOGNIZING WHAT IS WITHIN MY CONTROL? WHAT CAN I DO HERE FOR THE PERSON SITTING IN FRONT OF ME TELLING ME THEIR STORY? OR WITH THESE STORIES IN THE NEWS? AND WHAT IS NOT? AND I'M NOT SAYING THAT WE DISCOUNT SOMETHING THAT ISN'T IN YOUR CONTROL WE JUST DEAL WITH IT DIFFERENTLY. IF THINGS AREN'T IN OUR CONTROL WE JUST NEED TO PROCESS OUR FEELINGS AROUND THAT AND LET THEM EXIST BEING AN UNBIASED OBSERVER OF THAT AND RECOGNIZING THAT WE CAN'T CONTROL THAT. AND THEN FOR THE THINGS THAT ARE IN OUR CONTROL, REMINDING OURSELVES AND REALLY PAYING ATTENTION TO THAT. SO THAT'S KIND OF THE WAY THAT I FRAME MY WORK AND I THINK THAT HELPS.

Steve says BAILEY LET ME GET YOU TO REACT TO SOMETHING I JUST HEARD LISA SAY. IT'S AN INTERESTING EXPRESSION BUT I AM NOT SURE EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS. SHE SAID I LISTEN TO MY BODY. MAYBE YOU COULD HELP US WITH THAT. WHAT SHOULD WE LISTEN FOR IN THAT CASE.

Bailey says SURE, THE OTHER PART OF MY LIFE I OWN A SOFT SKILLS TRAINING COMPANY WHERE WE TEACH THINGS LIKE MINDFULNESS, RESILIENCE, STRESS MANAGEMENT, STRESS MANAGEMENT BEING OVERWHELMINGLY THE MOST POPULAR PROGRAM OVER THE LAST YEAR... ACROSS THE WORLD BY THE WAY OUR CLIENTS COME FROM. WHEN SHE SAYS MORE ABOUT OF LISTEN TO YOUR BODY IT'S MORE ABOUT BEING MINDFUL AND HAVE I EVER EVEN LOOKED WORLDLY AND DONE A BIT OF SELF-AWARENESS WORK AND THOUGHT WHAT DOES STRESS ME OUT. AND HOW DO I REACT TO STRESS AND WHAT'S THE OUTCOME OF THAT? AND WHETHER THAT HAPPENS HOW DO I GET THROUGH IT? WHAT ARE MY COPING STRATEGIES? WHAT I FOUND OVER THE LAST YEAR IS THAT A LOT OF FOLKS MAYBE HAD THEIR SET COPING STRATEGIES FROM BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. BUT THEY'VE NEVER REALLY THOUGHT INWARDLY OR LISTENED TO THEIR BODIES AND THEIR MINDS ABOUT WHAT CAN I DO NOW? BECAUSE THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A LOT OF COPING STRATEGIES LIKE GOING OUT FOR A NIGHT WITH YOUR GIRLS OR GOING TO SEE FRIENDS AND FAMILY, HANGING OUT OR DOING ANYTHING WITH OTHER PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN'T USE NOW. EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WORK DAY PEOPLE SAY I GO TO THE WATER COOLER. I GO TO THE KITCHEN AND HAVE I A CHAT WITH MY FRIEND. THEN I GO BACK TO WORK AND NONE OF THESE COPING STRATEGIES ARE AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW SO WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO OUR MIND AND LISTEN TO OUR BODY RIGHT NOW AND REASSESS WHAT THOSE ARE FOR US RIGHT NOW. AND SO I THINK THAT'S A REALLY GREAT START. AND IF I MAY, AS WE GET INTO... I LOVE GETTING INTO THE STRATEGIES ABOUT WHAT WE CAN ACTUALLY DO ABOUT THIS. WELL, WHAT I FOUND IN MY RESEARCH WHEN I WAS TALKING TO A LOT OF YOUNG WOMEN ABOUT HOW SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECTS THEIR MENTAL HEALTH, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABSOLUTELY BAR NONE, THE BIGGEST INDICATOR OF WHETHER THEY WOULD HAVE A GOOD OR BAD EXPERIENCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA WAS THEIR OFF LINE AFFECT OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THEIR EMOTIONS, HOW THEY FELT ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THEIR LIFE AT TIME OF SOCIAL MEDIA USE. IF THEY FELT BAD ABOUT THEMSELVES, THEY WERE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO DO THAT DOOM SCROLLING, TO TAKE IN THAT TRAUMA. AND IF THEY FELT GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES, OVERWHELMINGLY THEY WERE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO SEE THE INSTAGRAM MODEL AND BE INSPIRED BY HER AS OPPOSED TO COMPARE THEMSELVES TO HER OR TO SEE THAT IMAGERY AND THINK, DO YOU KNOW WHAT? I AM NOT GOING TO DO THIS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I WAS FEELING GOOD. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS WHAT LISA SAID WHICH IS LISTENING TO YOUR BODY AND MIND BEFORE YOU GO USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

The caption changes to "Producer: Carla Lucchetta, @carrletta."

Steve says SOME GREAT ADVICE FROM BOTH OF YOU TONIGHT. WE'RE REALLY GRATEFUL LISA AND BAILEY YOU COULD JOIN US HERE ON TVO. TAKE GOOD CARE AND GOOD LUCK IN THE DAYS AHEAD.

Bailey says THANK YOU.

Lisa says THANK YOU.

Steve says AND BAILEY I HOPE YOU GET THAT WEDDING IN SOME TIME SOON.

Bailey says STEVE, SAME! I AM READY TO PARTY AGAIN.

Steve says GOOD. WE WISH YOU WELL.

Watch: Is There Relief from Grief?