Brave Derbyshire police inspector opens up on mental health battle

A Police Inspector has bravely opened up about his mental health struggles, in a bid to encourage others to open up. 

For Time to Talk Day on February 6, Inspector Nolan is sharing his story to show others that they are not alone.

Insp Nolan

Insp Nolan

“If you don’t talk to people, they can’t read your mind,” Inspector Nolan said. “Our officers are sorting out people’s lives but they also have their own challenges.”

The 47-year-old said: “Growing up, I had a difficult childhood. 

“I joined the police to stop other children from going through the trauma that I had gone through.”

“In 1997, I dealt with a case where a young boy was in a situation similar to what I had gone through”, he said. “I thought ‘this is exactly why I’m here.’ But afterwards it sent me into a crash – so many memories I had hidden away started to come out.

“My behaviour at work was changing, I was less patient, less happy and I was drinking more.

“I’m always the loudest person in the room and my sergeant noticed something was wrong.

“That’s when I first had counselling through the police.”

“When I saw the therapist all the emotions from the past were coming out.

“I’m a big guy and I’ve always tried to build a shell around me so I can’t be hurt.

“As men we tend to be very quiet and just get on with it, because it’s seen as a strength to be able to control our emotions. 

“I never would have spoken about this ten years ago. In the police we’ve come to a point now where we care so much for each other that those walls are being knocked down.”

 “I’ve created an environment where people in my team want to talk to me. Had I not had the support myself, I might not have seen the value in doing that,” he said.

“I’m certain that with this change in culture, more and more people will seek support to help them through the chaos that life sometimes throws at us.”