Becoming a Police Officer in 2000, Carl survived nineteen years being on the streets. A role he often worked alone, single crewed but always as a professional. His unwavering commitment to having ‘a job to do’ came with a heavy price and he was forced out of his much-loved job.
Eleven years into his service, with already three visits to hospital, whilst dealing with a domestic violence incident he found himself having to protect a victim. A drugged up and drunken gunman shot at Carl six times. Carl fought and arrested the gunman, sending him to prison and receiving a national bravery award, but this came at a huge personal cost.
The next few years, people started to comment about his odd moods. Carl felt his whole personality change, he became more daring and found himself in more confrontations and seriously dangerous situations. With very little self-care and five years pushing himself forward, after facing the gunman, the job finally took its toll. Unknown to him and others, PTSD had already taken a grip and was never going to let go.
Counselling failed, his life started to spiral downwards. His work impacted his home life, losing his wife, home and then the final blow, he was medically retired from his job. Feeling lost, useless and worthless, he had a choice.
Stuck with a mental health condition, he had to find a way to fight and be able to live, giving up was not an option. Finding an inner strength he started a new career in Project management, found new ways to support his mental health and fell in love with a new partner, one who accepted him for the person he had become.
He lost everything, rebuilt a life and is now a voice of inspiration. His methods, thought processes and stories are now his tools that help others overcome huge adversity, especially in times of change.
Carls talks empowers others to embrace change, make difficult choices and live with them and overcome adversity, gaining a self resilience, enabling people to live their lives.
'We held our Psychology in the Community event last week, in collaboration with the University of Gloucestershire (where I am a Lecturer in Psychological Sciences) and the British Psychological Society (of which I am a West Midlands Branch committee member). Psychology in the Community is a free-to-attend, public event. Carl gave a powerful and engaging talk about trauma and PTSD, reflecting on his personal experiences and keeping us hooked to the end! His use of props helped us visualise his core message, as did the very catchy SLAP acronym. We thank Carl for taking the time to support our event and sharing his story.'– Ebony Murray, Lecturer in Psychological Sciences & Academic Course Leader of Psychology (BSc), University of Gloucestershire
'Having attended the conference yesterday I just wanted to say thank you for asking Carl to talk to the group. When we are promoted into management roles there is no training given on how to deal with supporting staff and colleagues that go through crisis at work other than the usually signposting of services. 3 years ago I had to deal with a member of staff that experienced a breakdown at work. I took them out of the building, sat with them over a coffee, listed and formulated a plan of support and action with them. I had no idea if I was doing the right thing but I knew that I could not leave them or send them home in distress. Not all colleagues would feel comfortable or confident dealing with situations like this, I certainly was not. Knowledge of the SLAP someone technique would have really helped me, and I feel it would be beneficial to raise wider awareness of it.'– Aimee Fowles, Business Manager to Carrie Ross, Head of Civil, Family and Tribunals for the South East Region
'Carl’s knowledge and passion around the subject of PTSD is second to none, and his expert manner of presenting his SLAP talk left our audience feeling awe-inspired, emotional and motivated to make a change in their community around the attitudes towards PTSD sufferers. We received fantastic feedback from our audience regarding Carl’s talk and can’t wait to work with him again soon. If you are looking for an expert on PTSD and personal mental health experience, the whole team at Ajuda Events would highly recommend Carl.'– Dawn Evans, Ajuda Ltd training.
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