Health professional talks injustice trauma after release of Tyre Nichols video

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:41 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As the disturbing footage of Tyre Nichols’ fatal confrontation with Memphis police continues to circulate online, many are feeling a range of emotions from anger and sadness to fear and frustration.

The graphic content in the Tyre Nichols video released just days ago is raising concerns about how it might impact mental health.

“I am a proponent for protecting your mental health and emotional health at all cost. And for me, that means not taking in the images from the video of Tyre Nichols being murdered, said Candyce Anderson Psychotherapist. “You can remain informed by reading an article which would give you an option as to whether or not you want to read what is going on the latest updates, versus actually clicking and watching the video that could cause some trauma.”

Psychotherapist Candyce Anderson says the type of trauma that usually results from watching these kinds of videos when there is police brutality or an injustice is called injustice trauma. This trauma can affect people in different ways.

“If you are feeling less trust in the system, if you are feeling like you are constantly in survival mode, trying to be safe, trying to remain vigilant to make sure that you’re okay, your family is okay. If you feel a sense of loss of control. These are some definite signs,” said Anderson.

Watching the video can be particularly triggering among Black people.

“My message to Black men to brothers would be it’s okay, for you to feel and to be validated and to be seen and to be heard,” Anderson added. “You don’t want to take all of this in and try to figure it out on your own. You can’t do surgery on yourself. And so, you need a professional that can help you navigate process and release some of these things that you’ve been accumulating over your lifetime — and we’re here to support you.”

Anderson points out coping with your emotions and feelings begins with talking to someone you trust.

“It’s okay to acknowledge that you are feeling something that is uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It doesn’t mean that you are problematic, it means that you’re human,” said Anderson.

Anderson also encourages everyone regardless of your race to show kindness, care and empathy. She says even if you don’t know what to say, that is okay.

If the feelings get overwhelming, reach out to a therapist or doctor about the best ways to get you the help you need.

There are mental health resources available. The Alabama Department of Mental Health, providers and the network that forms the Alabama Crisis System of Care aims to offer the right care, at the right time, at the right place for all individuals in need of mental health care.

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