Mental health expert speaks on supporting mental health after release of Tyre Nichols video

Supporting mental health after Tyre Nichols video.
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 10:26 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Video of Tyre Nichols’ deadly confrontation with former Memphis police officers has been circulating for days. A Rochester mental health expert note Monday that the video is extremely graphic and could be traumatizing to some.

“One of the things Tyre’s mom was saying is she wanted those videos to be shared, you know, so that people could witness and see what happened, and she also was specific to say, you know, protect the children, that the children don’t necessarily need to be watching it. The reality is that with social media, it’s already out there and many of our kids will have seen it,” Prairie Care child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Asfia Qaadir said.

Professionals advise touching base with your children to ensure they haven’t seen it or to be there for them if they have. Dr. Qaadir recommends checking in with the youth in your family, asking them what their thoughts are and how they are making sense of things.

Dr. Qaadir said connecting with others during this tough time is a source of resiliency to the trauma.

“Relational bonds, it could be with your loved ones, people who are sources of support and nourishing for you, this is the time to connect whether its family or a broader community whether it’s a faith-based community. It could be connecting with the youth in your family,” Dr. Qaadir said.

If you choose to view the video, Dr. Qaadir suggested people to pay attention to their bodies by being aware of their breathing and how they feel.

“It’s different for different people. I think it’s most important to have that moment of pause to say what do I need right now,” Dr. Qaadir said. “People may start to have panic attacks; people may have other symptoms of trauma that they know can be triggered.”

CERT co-founder Bud Whitehorn said he believes viewing the video is important to enact change in communities.

“Watch the video with your family. Show them what is going on in this world,” Whitehorn says.

Whitehorn also advised people experiencing trauma to seek a mental health facility, therapy, or to reach out to a loved one.

For those looking to heal from racial trauma, click here.