PTSD and the Police
In a recent article on the BBC website it has been said that the levels of stress in the police service are at breaking point. Additionally, there are more and more cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) being reported amongst the police. Now, people cannot be surprised by this. As I have written many times before we as a society ask a great deal of our emergency services and it is folly to think that those who serve us are immune to mental distress. This being because they are often at the coal face of some of the most difficult situations that we as a society face.
It is truly a measure of how far we have come as a society that police are now able to discuss and get help for this. In the past, PTSD was often denied by the very people suffering with it, as they did not want their careers being damaged by showing what they perceived to be a weakness in a job where strength is meant to be a core virtue of the job.
It is important that we, as therapists, recognise that PTSD is on the rise and that there is inadequate provision within the public sector in its treatment. Practitioner who want to work with PTSD, of course, need appropriate training in evidenced based approaches which assist clients to get through their condition. I say this as someone who works regularly with clients with PTSD, this is not for the faint hearted. PTSD can be a debilitating issue which can cause the practitioner difficulties as well. Please if you are intending to work with this, be sure you are qualified and that you are receiving appropriate clinical supervision to do so.