Stuart Rawlins | Healthy Mind Healthy Future
Mental Health & Employment | Educator | Speaker | Coach
Until a few years ago I thought mental illness was something that other people had, something that I thought I knew a bit about and something I had dealt with a fair bit in my 13 years as a Detective in the Qld Police Service.
My whole world changed when I was still a Police Officer and started noticing some symptoms of having a mental illness myself. So what did I do?
The same thing that a lot of people with mental health conditions do…….. I hid it! I hid it for fear of what people would think of me, I hid it because I was ashamed and I hid it because of the stigma at that time that came with putting your hand up and saying ‘Hey I have a mental health condition’.
In 2010 I decided to keep my mental health problems a secret from my Police family and rather than ask for help I simply resigned from the Police Service and changed careers hoping no-one would ever know. Hoping that no-one would ever find out and think less of me because of it.
What happened? Well later that year whilst working in another industry it came up and bit me in the butt. I was formally diagnosed with PTSD, Anxiety and Depression as a result of being exposed to a number of traumatic incidents during my previous 13 year career as a Detective in the Police Service.
This diagnosis resulted in a period of some 10 months where I could not work while I dealt with the associated issues I had been pushing into the background for a number of years. This was to date the most challenging time in my life and one that I still ask myself to this day ‘Why Me, what did I do to deserve this?’.
That time out some 8 years ago along with the following few years provided me with a raft of different experiences and challenges, some good, a lot not so good but all character building, life shaping and life changing.
Not only did I struggle with my mental health conditions but I also found myself out of work and unemployable.
Where am I now with it all? Well after after a tough few years rebuilding my life, my brand and my health I am now in a position where I am comfortable talking about it and I want to help others through their own mental health and unemployment challenges.