A Staffordshire PC who suffered years of physical, emotional and mental stress after an on duty assault has told other officers that there is no shame in asking for help, and advised them to reach out as soon as possible rather than leaving it until it’s too late.

Claire Bond, who is also a Staffordshire Police Federation workplace representative, has written a blog, posted today on the national Police Federation’s website, as part of Stress Awareness Month.

Claire, who was assaulted in 2018, explained: “The second year of my recovery was all about my mental wellbeing and attitude. Pretty early on, anxiety became a common place in my day to day. I began to avoid people and couldn’t understand where this anxiety came from. I was constantly questioning myself and my emotions, asking ‘why do I feel like this?’ Everything was an uphill battle. I felt guilty about thinking about myself, but looking back now, it wasn't all about me, it was about my family too.

“The emotional and mental stresses that were left behind from the incident were as prominent and as hard to deal with as the physical. The euphoria I had got from improving physically turned at times to despair. I did not sleep well and this affected my emotional wellbeing. I became really irritable and I’d say I was not nice to be around. It was at this point that I realised I needed help. I was avoiding talking about it, everything around me felt grey, I was very anxious and became increasingly angry. I didn’t like this person, so I stuck my hand up and asked for help.”

Claire outlined the practical and emotional support she received from the Federation, the Police Treatment Centres and Police Care UK.

“There is no shame in asking for help to deal with stress. My advice is to reach out as soon as you can, don’t wait until it’s too late,” she concluded, “There are so many avenues offering support and so many people who can guide you through. If you are experiencing any form of stress, please speak to your local Federation. We are all in this together.”

Read the blog.