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Behind Blue Lines
38 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
James Jefferson - Police Officer and Suicide Survivor
James Jefferson was in the early stages of his police career when he and his partner found themselves cornered by an armed suspect. With no other option, they opened fire in self-defence, wounding and ultimately killing the suspect. In the following months and years, the trauma from that night took James on a self-destructive journey that would find him alone one day in his car with his service weapon to his head.In this episode, you will: Hear about how James went looking for a hero's death Learn how a fear of being perceived as weak caused James to put on a front of indifference as he internally processed life-changing trauma Understand the impact of front line trauma on personal relationships Share James' journey to his lowest point and the changes in his mindset and support from his wife that now sees him as the wellbeing lead for his force and living a fulfilled family life
27 minutes | Sep 22, 2020
JoAnna Staples - Suicide Widow
Tom Staples was an ex-Marine and police officer with 20 years service. When you picture a police officer, Tom would be the type of person you think of - strong, dependable, steady. Yet on Thursday 2nd May 2019, with his two young sons playing downstairs, Tom went up to his bedroom and took his own life. No red flags. No warnings. In this episode you'll hear from his wife JoAnna, about the life they shared, the moment she found him and her life since. In this episode you will: Understand that not every suicide is preceded by observable behaviour or warning signs Hear more about the pressure on first responders to constantly appear strong and in control Learn about the impact of becoming a suicide survivor had on JoAnna and her family. Understand more about how those left behind by suicide can feel the need to take on responsibility for the emotions of those around them.
36 minutes | Jul 21, 2020
Rachel Hearn - Paramedic
Rachel Hearn has spent her working life with the Ambulance Service. She has witnessed and dealt with countless potentially trauma-inducing incidents. And yet when she made the call to her employee assistance programme to ask for help, it wasn't because of a harrowing ordeal, but rather that the build up of stress in her private life had brought her to breaking point.In this episode we will: Explore why first responders find it so difficult to ask for help Hear how the job can be a distraction from difficulties in your private life and provide a feeling of control Understand how much the fear of what others will think and the need to "earn acceptance" can influence the way we show up, both at work and in our private lives.
30 minutes | Jul 12, 2020
Gamal Turawa - Metropolitan Police
To Gamal Turawa, policing represented a chance to belong. Sadly he was subjected to an alarming racial assault within weeks of joining. The racism, discrimination and stereotypes that undermined his confidence and self-worth as a young boy growing up in 1970's Britain, were only compounded by the culture within policing at the time. During his policing career, it was the trauma found at the hands of his colleagues, and not on the streets that took him to a station platform one morning to end his life.In this episode we will: Explore how we often miss our opportunity to find belonging by sacrificing who we are to fit in Learn about the importance of acknowledgment as part of anti-racism Understand the impact of leading from a place of fear rather than courage Hear Gamal's own perspective on what policing organisations can do to better support officers and address the current climate facing policing
13 minutes | May 19, 2020
Letting Go Of What Others May Think
To what extent does the judgement of others impact your life? How much of your decision making is actually driven by what you assume others will think?The fear of judgement, of being seen as weak or imperfect in some way is a very real barrier to many emergency service personnel speaking out and asking for help. In this episode, we give it a name - Perfectionism, and identify strategies that will help you to let go of what others might think.
21 minutes | May 10, 2020
Wendy McIlwraith - Police Widow
“More officers die by their own hands than in the line of duty.” In May 2011 Law Enforcement Officer David Mcilwraith stepped outside his house onto the front porch, and took his own life. Tragically witnessed by his wife Wendy, and forever changing hers, she courageously and openly shares his story in the hope it will save others from going down the same path. In this episode we discuss; How repeated exposure to trauma may quickly escalate to suicidal thoughts, actions and distress The need for greater education around PTSD and suicide, in particular for loved ones of front line responders, and How asking for help is an act of courage, not weakness and of critical importance due to the abnormal exposure to trauma in these roles.
23 minutes | May 3, 2020
John Millard - Paramedic, NHS
On Christmas Eve 2003, John Millard was called to devastating incident that forever changed him and his paramedic colleague that attended. In this episode, we hear John share how even following the most heartbreaking events, it is possible to rise stronger and experience positive personal growth. We discuss how the theory of post traumatic growth offers another perspective, where people can thrive despite the shadows of trauma, building a brighter, different and even more resilient future.
23 minutes | Apr 27, 2020
Brent Vine - Hampshire Police
The cumulative trauma Brent Vine experienced pushed his marriage to breaking point and took him to a place where he began planning his own death. In this episode, we talk about the identity we may assume when we put on the uniform, the masks and armour we wear to survive, and how this can impact relationships with others and ourselves. We discuss how we can push away support by judging the nature of the events experienced through others eyes, and how identifying with a superhero can conflict with the human needs we have to process the extraordinary circumstances that occur. Brent shares how he has learnt to let go of the heroic persona, put down the mask and be honest with himself, with his relationships and mental health strengthened as a result.
33 minutes | Apr 19, 2020
Anne Boland - An Garda Siochana
Anne Boland was always a highly engaged and motivated officer in An Garda, but over time she experienced a succession of traumatic and difficult events that lead to a decline in both her physical and mental health. In this episode, we talk about the challenges of connecting with those inside and outside emergency services, depression and isolation, and how the body gives us warning signs. Through Anne’s enduring quest for greater knowledge she shares how cultivating connection has helped her overcome depression and affect meaningful change in her force.
4 minutes | Apr 13, 2020
An introduction to Behind Blue Lines - a podcast exploring the emotional cost of trauma to our emergency services and those that love them. Gareth Davies, an ex-sergeant from London's Metropolitan Police, shares his own experience of trauma and the resulting impact on both himself and those closest to him. Gareth is certified in the ground-breaking research of Dr Brene Brown into topics including vulnerability, shame, courage and resilience, referencing these themes throughout the series.The mission of Behind Blue Lines is to: Normalise the conversation around trauma. Let those affected by trauma know that they are not alone. To better equip our emergency service personnel and those that love them to ask for help. The following episodes will include interviews with personnel from emergency services across the world, highlighting that whilst geography may change, the impact of trauma is global. Whilst every experience of trauma is unique, key themes throughout the the series include depression, PTSD and suicide.Visit www.behindbluelines.co.uk to find out more or contact gareth via email email@example.com
23 minutes | Apr 13, 2020
Sean Burridge - Surrey Police
In May 2015, whilst pursuing a suspect, PC Sean Burridge experienced a life altering incident that would forever change the way he thought and served. In this episode, we talk about how PTSD can develop from trauma, the impact on relationships and challenges of returning to work on the front line. We learn how being able to recognise, name, and understand our feelings can help us regain a sense of control to look forward to a future beyond PTSD.
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