90 days from today is Thu, 28 December 2023
14 December 2021
The Chair of Greater Manchester Police Federation spent a decade running from the impact of a traumatic event he experienced on the Job - but after taking antidepressants and attending therapy he now wants to help other officers who are struggling.
Lee Broadbent shared his experience on Twitter, recalling an incident in December 2008 when he was called to a flat where a young mother was lying bleeding, having been stabbed by her ex-partner. Her three-year-old son was with her.
Lee Tweeted: “Monika was still alive when I landed, her young son stood over her crying as I put gloves on and looked into her eyes and said it would be alright. As I discovered stab wound after stab wound I knew I’d lied. She died in my arms.”
The woman’s ex-partner, Grzegorz Borowy, later pleaded guilty of murder and was was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Lee said he didn’t properly process the trauma at the time and it affected him for years. He posted his story on Twitter in order to encourage other officers to seek help if they are suffering.
He continued: “This time last year I was taking 20mg Citalopram and was 3 sessions into EMDR [therapy for PTSD] following a decade of running from the traumatic imprint this event left. I didn’t process the trauma in the days that followed and as a result it damaged me in more ways than I can understand.
“Now, I’m off the medication, able to talk openly about the event and trauma and not only did I go back to front line policing, but I’m now in a position where I can make a difference to how we (policing) look at and treat our broken.
“I’m not sharing this for pats on the bat, or publicity. Far from it. I’m sharing this because it’s evident that many more good people are where I have been during the last decade. They could be struggling and thinking there’s no other way.
“Being open about my experience starts a conversation and hopefully provides hope to others that it’s ok not to be ok and that talking about what you’re experiencing is the most difficult, but ultimately the most important, step to recovery.”
A study has found that 95% of police officers have been exposed to trauma in their jobs, with one in five experiencing either PTSD or Complex PTSD symptoms in the past four weeks.
It’s estimated that police officers an encounter between 400 and 600 traumatic incidents throughout their careers whereas a normal member of the public may only ever witness 3 or 4.
Lee signposted officers to a number of places where they could get support, including www.policecare.org.uk, www.no-duff.com, https://oscarkilo.org.uk/ www.call4backup.org, www.thepolicetreatmentcentres.org and www.thebenfund.co.uk.
He Tweeted: “Reach out… there’s a whole host of people wanting to help. Trust me.”