A police officer from the West Midlands has won a top international award for his work on social media highlighting mental health issues
Inspector Michael Brown, the man behind the @mentalhealthcop Twitter account, won the “Social Media the Internet and Law Enforcement award” (SMILE) for “Top Cop”. Brown, who only became active on social media in 2011, now has over 21,000 followers on Twitter and his blog has received over half a million hits.
Brown, who joined Twitter to promote awareness of the role of the police service in issues such as suicide prevention and dealing with depression, was now, the judges said “widely-recognised as a go-to resource for police officers up and down the country, as well as across the globe.”
Responding to the award the Inspector said: “I am thrilled to receive the award because there are so many police leaders I admire using social media to great effect that to count myself amongst them is a privilege.”
The inspector was not the only UK winner, with Greater Manchester police winning the price for “excellence at a large agency” and Stirling being given the “civilian award for excellence”.
Asked about the value of his use of social media Inspector Brown said: “I just hope it helps to continue to stimulate discussion in terms of both how the Police Service can better protect and serve the public, as well as how policing can affect the mental health of those officers who protect our societies from harm.”