I wrote the below as thought it may help other colleagues. If you could post it anonymously that would be really appreciated. Thanks in advance…
“Depression. It can make you feel like you’re useless and worthless, it affects your confidence and it makes you doubt yourself.
This will generally translate to your work life too.
We all know that Mental Health in the Police is a big issue. Many suffer, although there is still a stigma attached to it.
You can see a colleague with a broken leg – but you can’t always see a colleague with a broken mind.
With the stressful role of policing, comes self doubt and self criticism at times.
There’s so many aspects of this job, but we can’t be brilliant at them all. We all have our place and skill sets.
You know who you want with you at the public order job, or when you’re dealing with a delicate emotional victim.
Unfortunately people will criticise you and bad mouth you behind your back. It’s always been rife in the job and it won’t change sadly.
But rise above it and try and stay positive. Don’t join in slating your colleagues. Bad feelings lead to negativity.
Some will tell you “I wouldn’t have dealt with it like that…” but that’s just their opinion. It certainky doesn’t mean you’ve done a bad job or that you’ve handled it the wrong way.
Remember that you’ve done the job for X amount of years without making any serious mistakes or complaints and you’re still here doing it – even though you may wish you weren’t at times.
Some people are better at talking to people than fighting and confrontation. Some people prefer to use the power of speech rather than the rage of aggression.
Some will deal with a situation completely differently to you. That doesn’t make you a bad officer, it just makes you different…
You have to be a social worker, teacher, fighter, paramedic, parent, babysitter and lots, lots more besides.
Nobody can be an expert at all of the roles it takes to do the job – and no one is.
Even if PC 999 PERFECT thinks exactly that… they’re probably more self conscious and self doubting than you think. He/she just hides it well with their false boasts, cocky swagger, and crude jokes. Deep down they’re still decent people.
While PC 101 ACE has to have the loudest voice in the office, inside she probably has the smallest amount of confidence. But her heart’s still in the right place.
Some people leave the job after 6 months. But you didn’t. You’re still there working hard trying to help and make a small difference in someone’s life.
If we were all the same, then every incident would end up with a fight on a Saturday night in town.
We need the officer with the calming influence and polite manner sometimes. Just as much as we need the officer who loves to have a roll around with the drunken idiot who won’t leave when he’s told to. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.
Take confidence in what you are good at and block out negative criticism from fellow colleagues. We all need to work together in these hard times and support each other.
STOP the slagging off and bad mouthing of other shifts and colleagues ( I know we are all guilty of this at times) and do what you can to help and assist one another. If we are against each other, then what chance do we stand when the public, media and government are constantly criticising us and beating us down?
We need to look out for one another and take care of each other.
If we don’t, then who will?