Mental health counselor talks about emerging trend: ‘vaccine shaming’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some people have decided not to get the coronavirus vaccine.

  • Listen to this story

But, many of these folks are receiving backlash from others for their decisions.

“Vaccine shaming,” health experts say, is when vaccinated people lash out at others who have not been inoculated. The practice is dividing families, destroying friendships, and even affecting workplaces.

News 8 spoke with Kimble Richardson, a licensed mental health counselor at Community Health Network, for advice about what people who find themselves in this situation can do — whether it’s the shamer or the “shamee.”

“Most times when these things happen, people want their emotions to be understood along with the information. ‘I want you to hear me.’ And usually, that means not only do I want you to hear me, but I want you to understand me emotionally.”

If people can agree on that, Richardson says, there’s less of a chance of shaming others. He explains the motivation behind this aggressive communication is fear and anger. This is for people on both sides. Having a sense of self-awareness can temper these discussions.