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INDIANAPOLIS — For the past 18 months, a constant topic of discussion has been how rough these 18 months has been.

Not only has the country dealt with a devastating and seemingly unending pandemic, but events such as the killing of George Floyd along with protests and riots that ensued, a vitriolic presidential election, countless natural disasters, and the ending of a 20-year war have all taken their toll.

Seeing all these stressful and terrible things while many Americans were forced to quarantine and stay at home for the better part of that 18 months has been a lot. And it’s starting to show.

Mental health professionals are reporting seeing more people experiencing “burnout” or the feeling of being overwhelmed with all that’s stressful and wrong in the world.

“The last year and a half has just been so heavy. And it’s almost like a constant heavy for people. They may not be coming in and saying those words “I’m burnt out.” It’s just what I’m seeing is lotta heavy stress, and this thing and this thing, and I can’t even think about this thing,” Brooke Randolph, founder and director of Counseling at the Green House said.

While the feeling of burnout is common, Randolph says there is a way to help lighten the mental load.  

“Finding a way to share our emotion, being aware of how our mind and our body are reacting during these things — I think that’s step one. And then kind of figuring out how you dose that, how you protect yourself from [being] overwhelmed, and avoid any unnecessary stress — that would be a step two. I think ultimately, we want to get to a place where we are out there doing some good.”

Many people have used their new awareness of the world’s problems to do some good. Charitable giving reached an all-time high in 2020. However, lately officials with non-profits say charitable giving has stalled. With COVID-19 cases on the rise once again the need for help is outpacing donations; particularly as we draw closer to the colder months and holiday season which tends to be the busiest time for charities.

As we’re trying to reach donors and encourage them to continue to support us at heightened levels, as we have heightened levels of work we’re doing, to be down from two and a half, near three times the distribution, to now only double pre-pandemic levels, it’s still high. So, we still need additional resources,” said John Elliott. president and CEO of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.