Coping With Emotions After Witnessing the Damar Hamlin Traumatic Event
Coping With Emotions After Witnessing the Damar Hamlin Traumatic Event

Coping With Emotions After Witnessing the Damar Hamlin Traumatic Event

At this point, we’ve all seen or at least heard about what happened in the Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals Monday Night Football game in early January 2023. Damar Hamlin, a 24-year-old safety for the Bills suffered cardiac arrest after what seemed like a routine tackle. Damar collapsed on the field in front of millions of people watching. Such an event has an impact on the mental health of all of the players on the field, coaches, other teams, fans, and everyone watching the game.

In this conversation, we invited a mental health professional to discuss coping with emotions after witnessing what as Lisa says, “was a traumatic event”. Lisa Bonta Sumii is someone we have respect and admiration for — and her voice is needed. Lisa advises on how to and how not to cope with a traumatic event. This includes talking about the emotions you felt during the event, staying away from the 24-hour news cycle, journaling, and other coping skills. It is extremely critical to process those emotions and to seek emotional support as soon as possible after a traumatic event.

About Lisa Bonta Sumii, LCSW, CSW:

Lisa Bonta Sumii is a psychotherapist and mental performance consultant to high-performing athletes at the youth, collegiate, Olympic-hopeful, and professional levels. She is the first-ever Mental Health & Performance Coach at the Oakland Roots SC, a men’s professional soccer team, in the USL. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of AthMindset, a diverse team of practitioners, who serve alongside her.


Wrapping up:

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Of note:

  • This is not the first time something like this happened. Almost 25 years ago, Chris Pronger suffered a similar traumatic injury during a hockey game. Luckily, he was able to continue playing for 13 more seasons. Also, those who follow soccer might remember Christian Eriksen, a Danish soccer national team player who suffered cardiac arrest in June 2021 during their first game of the Euro Cup. Luckily, he also recovered and continues to play soccer professionally.