Addressing Mental Health Issues in Police Brutality Encounters

In February of 2023, a Nevada police officer was caught on video slamming a young high school student to the ground and aggressively pinning him to the ground with his knees. The event occurred while the police officers were investigating reports of a possible weapon sighting on campus. However, they were unable to retrieve a weapon from the student.

Unfortunately, such incidents have become common in the US, with residents reporting several cases of police brutality every month. Activists and individuals involved in police brutality cases have begun speaking up on the mental health issues caused by police brutality encounters. In this blog, we will shed light on the mental health issues caused by police brutality encounters and how we can address them with the help of a police brutality lawyer.

Mental Health Issues Caused by Police Brutality Encounters

Below are a few common mental health issues caused by police brutality encounters:

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is the most common mental health issue faced by victims of police brutality encounters. PTSD is a disorder that usually develops when an individual has experienced a shocking, traumatic, or dangerous event. Victims of police brutality encounters can carry significant trauma from the violence and force that police may have exerted on them. This can cause them to develop several symptoms of PTSD, including:

  • Nightmares of flashbacks of the police brutality encounter
  • Intense emotional or physical reactions upon a reminder of the events, e.g., someone talking about the encounter or seeing a police officer in the public
  • Avoiding people or places that may remind one of the incidents
  • Depression
  • Feeling angry or easily irritable
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating on day-to-day tasks

PTSD symptoms can begin any time after the police brutality incident and worsen if left untreated, causing severe psychological distress to the victim. Therefore, recognizing these symptoms early and getting appropriate treatment and support can help you take control of your mental health before it worsens.

Also Read: What to Do if a Nevada Police Officer Threatens You During a Traffic Stop


Police Brutality encounters can cause severe anxiety in victims or communities involved. The traumatic experience of police brutality encounters can make victims anxious about going out of their homes and leave lasting emotional scars. The anxiety of future encounters with police officers may keep victims from living normal lives and make it difficult to conduct daily commutes like going to work or the grocery store.

Furthermore, the police brutality incident may also impact a community and create an atmosphere of unease or mistrust when the community members are around law enforcement. This can create larger issues since individuals involved in police brutality encounters may avoid seeking help from police officials in times of need due to fears of being unfairly treated.

Addressing Mental Health Issues in Police Brutality Encounters

Mental health issues caused by police brutality encounters can negatively impact an individual’s life. This is why we must get help and address these issues promptly to prevent them from worsening. Below are a few ways we can address mental health issues due to police brutality encounters:

Seek Emotional Support from Loved Ones

One of the best ways to take the weight off an unfortunate event is to talk to a loved one about it. Confiding in a loved one and expressing your feelings to them can help you instantly feel better and get emotional support from them. Loved ones can also offer information on helplines, counseling services, or other resources that may help you address your trauma.

Seek Professional Support

Sometimes talking to a loved one may not be enough to free you from the trauma of police brutality encounters. This is where seeking help from professionals offering trauma-informed support becomes essential. These professionals are well-versed in dealing with individuals who have gone through significant emotional and physical trauma and can help offer guidance on healthy practices like deep breathing exercises and emotional support to help you recover.

Although it can be intimidating to take legal action against police officials, it is important to do so if you have been a victim of a police brutality event. A police brutality lawyer can help protect your rights and take the necessary steps to ensure those behind your police brutality encounter are held accountable.

Making sure that the police officials involved in your police brutality case receive punishment for their wrongdoing can help you gain the closure needed to help you recover from the mental distress caused by the event and ensure that they cannot do the same to another individual in the future.

If you have experienced a police brutality incident in Nevada, we recommend calling our police brutality lawyer at Bourassa Law Group. Dial 1-800-870-8910 to learn more, or schedule a free case evaluation here.

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