Sunday, 18 June 2017

"Sorry for bothering you..." by CO Dale Checksfield, Durham Special Constabulary | GUEST POST | Ad

"Mental illness is not a personal failure. In fact, if there is a failure, it is to be found in the way we have responded to people..."
Dr Gro Harlem Brundtford, General Director, World Health Organisation (2001 report on Mental Health)

Through my policing career (as a Special Constable) I've met people suffering from a wide range of mental health issues and I've been able to help so many of them; and I hope for that to continue in the remainder of my career. But, at times, I've needed help myself...

I’d not long been promoted to Special Sergeant at a small semi-rural police station in County Durham (my first policing leadership role) when, a few days before Christmas, I was on early days with my normal shift. As we sat for our pre-shift cuppa the radio went “Anyone available for a sudden death?”
I’ve always been the kind of person who'll shout up for anything – the way I see it; I volunteer to support our communities and my colleagues, so if I can lighten their load – I’m in!
Gingerly knocking on the door, I was greeted by an elderly lady with a tear in her eye, but otherwise composed. “I’m so sorry for having to bother you” she said. 
I’ll spare the details but after doing the necessary, I prepared to head back to the station. The family were on route to support the lady and my “work” was done. But some of the circumstances had touched me on a personal level and brought many memories flooding back...

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


Note: although this post is part of my partnership with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust following the recent terror attack at Manchester Arena; the entire contents of it can apply to anyone who has suffered from any trauma

Image created by the GMMH_NHS Twitter staff

  1. 1
    a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

    "a personal trauma like the death of a child"

The reason for this post is obviously those who were affected in anyway by the terror attack in Manchester Arena and especially in the wake of Ariana Grande (the singer who's concert had just finished when the attack took place) putting on a charity concert (One Love Manchesterfeaturing a number of artists; to raise money for victims, survivors, and their families. Those who'd attended her

concert on the night of Monday 22nd May, were given free tickets to also attend the event.

Note: you can watch One Love Manchester here

Ideally, I'd have published this piece before the One Love concert to give people 'advice' and 'warning.' I believe, though, that for up to a month after a trauma; there's no space in a person's head to take such information in. There's not enough room to accept more information when this experience this trauma; has consumed your entire life. Every minute seems to be about it. Every conversation. Every phone call. Every appointment.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Cygnet Healthcare #ChangeStigma Event | Ad

Stigma in Mental Health: The role stigma plays and strategies for positive change
Date: Tuesday 8th May 2017

Raf Hamaizia - About to have dinner with @CygnetNurses and @wayne2183ac but they don't eat as much as me so I have had snack beforehand
Wayne S - and look who's just joined us, its @aimes_wilson

Raf Hamaizia - Having a catch-up with my @aimes_wilson after annoying @JulieKerry6 a little over dinner! Looking forward to tomorrow Anti-Stigma conference

Kicking off DAY TWO of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #MHAW2017 with @cygnethealth 's #changestigma event

Friday, 26 May 2017


I'm honoured to say that Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust have asked to use I'm NOT Disordered's popularity to help publicise their brand new information in response to the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena on Monday 22nd May 2017
To read more visit:

MY BBC1 'NEWS AT TEN' APPEARANCE! | 22.05.2017 | Ad

Waking up to a missed phone call from Raf Hamaizia and a text asking me to call him back; I didn't, for one minute, think that returning the call would result in an appearance on the BBC national news!
A BBC Producer (Elizabeth Neeham-Bennett) had been in contact via the Group Medical Director at Cygnet Healthcare, with the opportunity for an Expert By Experience to be featured on the BBC 'News at Ten' later that day (22nd May).
The piece was in response to The Guardian's publication of leaked Facebook policies given to their moderators (the people that get your message when you click that little 'report' button). The policy mentioned 'revenge porn,' 'threats of violence,' and 'hate speech' and 'terrorism;' but the BBC were focusing their attention on the Facebook guidelines surrounding self-harm, and suicide, related content posted on Facebook.

“We’re now seeing more video content – including suicides – shared on Facebook. We don’t want to censor or punish people in distress who are attempting suicide. Experts have told us what’s best for these people’s safety is to let them livestream as long as they are engaging with viewers."
"Such footage should be “hidden from minors” but not automatically deleted because it can “be valuable in creating awareness for self-harm afflictions and mental illness or war crimes and other important issues.”