THERAPISTS EMBEDDING WITH PROTESTERS TO HELP WITH TRAUMA

The small restaurant in West Louisville was owned by his older brother, David McAtee, known as “the BBQ man,” who always seemed to be in the kitchen with a warm smile and a hot meal.

David, 53, was shot and killed in June outside the restaurant after the National Guard and Louisville police were called to disperse a crowd violating a city curfewimposed during protests against the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

David McAtee’s death deepened the anguish of a city already convulsed by trauma and grief over the March killing of Taylor, 26, a Black medical technician who was shot in her apartment by police executing a search warrant.

Like Jamie McAtee, many Black residents and activists are coping with the loss of loved ones, grappling with emotional encounters at protests and dealing with disappointment and anger as their demands for police accountability and racial justice seemingly go unanswered.

McAtee received mental health help through Therapists for Protester Wellness, a network of volunteer providers in Louisville that is embedding therapists in marches, and offering free or discounted services to residents and demonstrators.

The network is made up of around 100 mental health professionals of all disciplines whose members are visible at protests, wearing black T-shirts with Therapists for Protester Wellness written on them.

Three months after losing his brother, McAtee sought professional help from Therapists for Protester Wellness as he continues to advocate for racial justice in Louisville.

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