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Mental health online: Police posts of crises may traumatize

Suicide Social Media Police
Posted at 1:42 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 14:15:41-04

(AP) — Police departments in 2021 are desperate for positive press. They’re facing headline after headline about police brutality, bias and racism. They’re grasping at any way to show their communities that they care.

Sometimes, that takes the form of posting graphic “rescue” photos or videos of a suicide intervention on social media. It’s meant to show the heroism of the officers and the volatility of a situation that thankfully ended with someone’s life being saved — but it’s often done without the permission of the person in crisis, without a trigger or content warning, without consulting mental health professionals.

Experts and advocates say the consequences of these social media posts can be dangerous.