How to cope after release of Tyre Nichols’ fatal arrest video

Mental health expert provides tips for children and adults following tragedies
Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 11:33 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Many people are still reacting to the video of Tyre Nichols’ arrest. Atlanta News First decided not to show you the video in its entirety, because of its graphic nature. However, a lot of us still can’t help, but see clips of the footage on our social media feeds.

RELATED: Protests held in Atlanta after video of Tyre Nichols’ fatal beating.

Nearly 24 hours after the release of the video, a mental health specialist provided coping tips for those struggling.

“It makes me angry. Most of all it makes me scared. Scared for myself. Scared for my family. Scared for anyone else who looks like me,” said Kadesha Adelakun.

The video showing five former Memphis Police Officers fatally beating Nichols has left Adelakun on edge.

“It’s just disgusting. Like, there’s no other word to describe it other than disgusting and horrible,” Adelakun said. “it was kind of my gosh, they you know, I read that he was screaming out Mom. You know, this is a grown man screaming out for his mom because he’s being beaten to death,” she said.

Adelakun is the owner and director of Journey Counseling Services. She works with children as young as three years old and adults. Adelakun said she couldn’t watch the video.

“I’m a black mom. Married to a black man. I have black children, I have a son I have a daughter, especially because of my son and husband, I just choose not to watch,” Adelakun said. “It’s just something that I choose to not see, to kind of protect my mental health,” she said.

Since the video is everywhere, Adelakun is worried for children and others who may see it.

“I’m very concerned,” she said. “So, if a child who’s watching that, and they’re not fully developed that can definitely be traumatic for them,” Adelakun said.

“It’s very traumatizing. You know, racial trauma is real,” she said.

“It’s traumatic. It causes anxiety. It causes a lot of different stuff. It causes depression,” Adelakun said.

That’s why she believes it’s time for parents to have conversations, during this age of social unrest.

“Be honest in an age-appropriate way of course. You can’t shy away from these things. These things are happening whether we like it to happen or not. They’re going to see about these things. They’re going to hear other kids talking about it,” she said. “Sometimes if you think they may be aware of it, you may not even want to wait until they ask you questions about it. You may want to go to them and ask them, " hey, I know you saw the video,” she said. “Or, “hey I know you know what just happened, how are you feeling or what are your thoughts?

She also encourages adults to keep tabs on their mental health, especially if they struggle in that area.

“Turn the tv off...limits your exposure. Get off of social media. Don’t go on the internet. Things like that,” Adelakun said. “Take a break. Go for a walk or something that you enjoy doing or go watch a show. Talk to somebody,” she said.

Most of all, Adelakun doesn’t want anyone to suffer in silence.

“If it becomes way too much, seek professional help. There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help.! Sometimes just going to speak to somebody just letting it out,” she said.