Graphic depictions of the deadly Capitol insurrection of January 6 triggered fresh waves of trauma for many politicians, staffers, and viewers across the country yesterday as senators began a historic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

But for Northeastern faculty who work in mental health as well as other trauma survivors, the ensuing public discussions about post traumatic stress disorder and vicarious trauma present a small silver lining.

“This has been a moment of stigma reduction,” says Alisa Lincoln, professor of sociology and health sciences. “When people can see and understand the causes of trauma, there is a lot less stigma.”

Lincoln and other mental health professionals say there are many ways to address the deeply disruptive fears that can continue to haunt people long after these events. Beth Molnar, associate professor and director of the Population Health PhD Program at Northeastern, helped create a comprehensive online toolkit called the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit to aid people and workplaces affected by trauma.


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