Gwent Police Officer, Alexa Brown is taking part in the Merthyr Tydfil half marathon as a fundraiser for Call4Backup whilst taking to social media to openly talk about her own mental health struggles.
On 26th March 2023, Alexa Brown, who is an officer with Gwent Police will be standing on the start line of the Merthyr Tydfil Half Marathon knowing that she not only has raised lots of money for Call4Backup but in her time in the lead up to the event she has also taken to social media to discuss the issues she has been through as a way of reducing stigma.
Alexa has chosed to fundraise for us but also requested that she champion the Green Ribbon Policing campaign was founded by former police officer Sam Smith to campaigning for better mental health in policing. As a result Alexa will be sporting a special edition of our fundraising shirt which includes the Green Ribbon Policing Logos as well as the words “Working Together For Better Mental Health Support For Our Police” on the back
I am a single parent, Police Officer since 2005 and I have been suffering with Complex PTSD since 2017. In June this year after the loss of a beloved family member and an increasing sense of despair I became suicidal. For 6 years I endured hypervigilance, insomnia, emotional flashbacks, self harm and a negative sense of self. I lost three stone, drank up to fifteen cups of coffee a day, deprived myself of food as a maladaptive way to function and cope which prolonged my suffering. In February this year I stopped taking medication because I was so ashamed of my disorder. Telling a person you are suffering intrusive thoughts about ending your life is terrifying but it was the bravest thing I have ever done and I consider myself to be a brave person.
Since 2017, I received EMDR treatment through my employers Gwent Police, CBT, attended a woodland centre and guest lectured on occasion at Bristol UWE speaking about self harm, suicide and suicidal ideation- but it was just as important to have the right support from friends and family. For a long time it was two steps forward and two back.
This year I stopped sabotaging my recovery, walked away from unhealthy habits and relationships with no reciprocity or balance. I concentrated solely upon my children, recovery, became more disciplined, more organised and began speaking openly. My authentic self quickly reappeared and I felt as though an old friend had returned. I feel creative and ambitious again.
Alexa has also recently taken to the So What’s your Story podcast hosted by Ian Beighton and available on Spotify. In it she stresses that no-one is bullet proof when it comes to handling the psychological impact of the work she and the police in general carry out and is now determined to help people with intense jobs like hers change the way they care for their minds.
GREEN RIBBON POLICING – https://www.linkedin.com/company/green-ribbon-policing/
Alexa’s GoFundMe fundraiser – https://gofund.me/c46c259e
So What’s Your Story Podcast – https://open.spotify.com/episode/6JkfX8QDE8JdbUDCjjl84j?si=d243eb813517427b&nd=1