Bedfordshire Police Inspector ‘broke down’ after asking for mental health help

A Bedfordshire Police Inspector said he had “burst into tears” in front of medics after asking for help with his mental health.

Ben Dimmock, 41, was struck by severe depression “out of the blue” in 2013 after a series of tragic events in his life.

“It’s very scary because you don’t know what’s happening to you,” he said.

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“Not wanting to get out of bed every day and wondering if you can survive each day is a really tough place to live.”

Ben, from Totternhoe, Bedfordshire, – near Dunstable – will hike the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in 24 hours to raise money for the Mind charity for mental health.

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The Three Peaks Challenge will see him climb Ben Nevis in Scotland – the highest mountain in the UK – Scafell Pike in England and Mount Snowdon in Wales in a single 24-hour period on September 25-26.

The three hikes will last 18 hours over 28 miles of terrain and climb nearly 3,000 km – roughly the same height as Kilimanjaro.

This already incredible feat will be made more difficult by the fact that Ben was born with only one lung.

“When I run or hike for a long time the recovery rate is harder because that lung has to work harder to get me oxygen – it’s just another challenge and one of those things that I don’t. not let bother me and realize, ”he said. .

Ben has already raised over £ 1,100, but he hopes it can get even bigger – you can donate here.

He chose the charity because of his past experiences with his own mental health.

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“I’ve been a police officer for almost 19 years now – a father, a husband, a man – nothing has ever really affected me before,” he said.

“I suddenly found myself very sick and not knowing what it was – just the fact that I didn’t want to wake up and didn’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone – I found myself in a really dark place.

“Admitting it to myself was the hardest thing of all – refusing to say that I was really depressed. I was ashamed. I felt like I had lost all control over myself. felt immensely sad from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed.

“I couldn’t laugh or smile. I couldn’t think positively about anything in my life. I didn’t even know for sure if I even wanted to live. All I wanted was to cry and that’s what I did. did, a lot. I felt like my mind was so weak that I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Ben said he got to the point where he realized the dark place he was in and had to go see the doctor.

“I remember breaking down in tears in front of the doctors and saying ‘please help me’,” he added.

“It was the best thing I could do because it was the first step in healing from a mental illness.

“By seeking help, through guidance and my own research, I was able to get a lot better and then I became a champion for mental health at work.

“So many police officers are suffering from mental illnesses because of some of the things that we see.”

He said if he hadn’t gone to get help when he did, he “wouldn’t know what might have happened”.

Part of Ben’s role is that of a hostage and crisis negotiator – helping people who might be on the rooftops contemplate suicide – something he has taken on from his own struggles.

“When I’m on top of a rooftop, parking lot or bridge with someone in absolute crisis, who can kill themselves, I feel like I can empathize because I have been that low.

“Although I’m out of place and no one else can, I know what it’s like to be this low. I know I’m good at this role because I can m ‘put it there.

“One of the most rewarding things is being able to talk to someone – knowing that I’ve saved a life is one of the most wonderful things in the world.

“You know you can’t save everyone and you can be terrified, but knowing that you are doing something to save someone’s life is unimaginable.”

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