My name is Sarah, I am 42 years old and live in Devon with my husband and 2 children.

I have been employed with Devon and Cornwall Police as a member of Police Staff for 20 years.

Having recently been prompted to Radio Supervisor in the Plymouth Communications Control Room. In addition to this role, I am an Enhanced Crisis Communicator trained to assist others in crisis, a Peer Supporter and a TRIM team leader.

I have previously spent 19 years as a Special Constable both with Devon and Cornwall Police and West Mercia Police. 

During my service I have dealt with many incidents both in the Control Room as a Radio Supervisor, a previous Radio Deployment Officer and also on the ground as a Special Constable.

I was diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) back in 2013. This was due to an accumulation of trauma’s in my life. As a child I was badly bullied, then subjected to domestic violence where I was threatened with a Shotgun. It all came to a head when in the control room, I dealt with the hanging of a 14-year-old schoolgirl who was being trolled online.

I have been to the scene of many hangings before but I found it hard to understand why this one incident affected me. I was protected in the Control Room behind a computer screen with a headset on. Although I heard as clear as anything that change in the Officers voice as he arrived on scene and the screams from the mother of the child.

I had gone from being that “bubbly girl” growing up to being very withdrawn. I have been medicated, received CBT therapy and had Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. 

What I know now is that, If I had talked about the incident after to others then I would not have absorbed so much traumatic stress.

I have used the negative aspects of my life and turned them into positives, becoming a Mental Health Champion and gaining qualifications in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. My life experiences have enabled me to help others.

I am open about my PTSD because I want to help others who are concerned about the stigma that surrounds Mental Health.

Support our journey

We are looking to partner with those with a similar ethos, such as adventure, endurance, friendship and teamwork. These partnerships will allow us to provide support for our colleagues who need our help.

Support us to support them.