D.C. lawmakers have collectively received 760 counseling sessions since the January 6th Capitol Hill riots according to an official with the House Office of Employee Assistance. Paul Tewksbury, who heads the office, says that is a "significant increase" over what is customary.
At issue for many lawmakers is mental anguish and stress associated with the election riots that took place at the Capitol building while Congress was in session to certify the electoral votes of the states.
House and Senate members had to be rushed from the chamber floors when a number of protesters breached the building and began ransacking offices. Those events have apparently proven traumatic for many members of the legislative branch, who have made, Tewksbury estimates, nearly 3,000 contacts with his office so far this year.
"There's a lot of stress and anger going on. … We're validating feelings, whatever they are," Rep. Gerald E. Connolly said in a newspaper interview. "Interestingly, the people I think who were struggling the most are the people who physically were not here."