Wellbeing

Stuart Charlesworth, Greater Manchester Police

Why was Stuart nominated?

Following a high-profile incident, Stuart lived with PTSD for years before seeking help. Stigma within the police led to him using self-coping options, not getting an early diagnosis and refusing to seek help. He has now been treated and lives with PTSD.   

Since then, Stuart has worked to reduce the stigma of mental health for police officers by sharing his experience of his journey with the sole focus of promoting positivity and helping others. He has presented his very powerful talk 'I'm Fine' within force (including first responders following an arena attack) and beyond (other forces, CoP, NCA, Oscar Kilo) and internationally (Germany). The toll of these presentations on Stuart cannot be underestimated but his drive is to help others.      

As a peer supporter, Stuart helps individual officers deal with mental illness, PTSD and keeps them in policing. He supports leaders with help and advice, and encourages and empowers others to get help. 

Image of wellbeing award winner Stuart Charlesworth, GMP.

How does Stuart demonstrate professionalism in everyday policing?

Stuart is an ambassador for mental health beyond policing. He has achieved what forces and senior leaders have struggled to do: made talking about mental health within the police a positive and effective experience. He has done this through being a role model. Stuart's honesty and openness about his own mental health journey have given others the confidence to speak and seek help.

This has resulted in officers and staff seeking help early, preventing further issues and obtaining support. This has had an impact on sickness levels, but more importantly reducing the stigma of mental health and improving wellbeing.


What is the lasting impact of Stuart's story on colleagues or the public?

Stuart is continually trying to improve how policing approaches and recognises mental health.  Looking to international policing (Australia/Boston PD) for best practice/shared learning. 

Battling the stigma of suicide, he is working for officers who have committed suicide to be recognised in the role of police honours.

Several officers and staff have stated that Stuart was instrumental in them seeking help, being honest with work, family and themselves about their own mental illness. He has saved lives.

He is not interested in self-promotion or rank, he wants to help others and will continue to do so.

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