Maria Fox, Superintendent with the West Midlands Police Force spent two weeks at the Police Treatment Centres in Harrogate recently following a number of issues that meant working was becoming increasingly difficult.
My difficulties began slowly as I started experiencing acute peri menopausal symptoms. This was then compounded by a number of factors, work related stress and unhealthy coping mechanisms which all lead to a lot of physical symptoms. These physical symptoms included chronic fatigue, obesity and exhaustion amongst others.
My mental and physical symptoms developed to such an extent that I was signed of duties on the 26/10/2020 and did not begin a managed, phased return until the middle of April 2021. After returning to work I was booked in for a stay at the Police Treatment Centres in Harrogate, my second such stay after attending in 2007 following a major knee operation.
During my stay at St Andrews, I benefited from a number of classroom-based sessions that enabled me to contextualise and properly understand my journey. These sessions also taught me some useful coping strategies, creating the space to step back and reflect on my struggles and all I have been through. I also feel positive that I will be able to integrate these strategies into my day to day life so that I am able to thrive and maintain resilience.
Whilst at the Centre I also took advantage of the fantastic leisure facilities. The Gym, pool and fabulous surroundings for bike rides were invaluable for my mind and spirit. These additional aspects of the Centre allow room for taking time to look after myself, something that I will make a real effort to implement in my life in general from now on.
I would happily recommend the PTC to all of my colleagues and look forward to working with the Centres to promote their great work in Force.