I was really surprised and disappointed to see that @mentalhealthcop was suspended by the West Midlands Police over allegations by police over misuse.
Inspector Michael Brown’s blog had 7,000 followers and numerous professionals in the mental health world read it. He picked up an award at the Mind Media awards – presented it by Stephen Fry to a rapturous applause. He said that he started it at the end of 2011 to help police officers gain more information for helping people with mental health problems. It was a clear and informative blog – although meant for police officers it spread much wider.
You can imagine situations where police officers with a bit of extra knowledge concerning mental health could make a real difference to situations they come across – that could be the difference between over reacting and really understanding the behaviours of a citizen they’ve encountered.
He talked of legislation as well and he managed to gain a broad network of people following him.
There never seemed to be any personal gain involved and his idea for the future was to encourage other professionals to talk sensibly about their own work using social media.
West Midlands police have suspended his twitter account alleging ‘misuse of a force account’ and his Mental Health Cop blog has been set to private. There may be a reason we all don’t know about that Michael Brown’s account needs to be removed – but nothing that’s been seen over the last year can be described as anything but helpful to police colleagues and the wider community as well as offering many citizens with mental health problems who encounter the police an opportunity for compassion and fair treatment.
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