Archie has worked in the Prison Service for over 30 years. He describes his friends and colleagues as ordinary people working in extraordinary circumstances.
Every single day, prison officers across the UK are doing their best to cope with extremely challenging circumstances. For Archie, he faced these challenges head on throughout his service. However, the tragic suicide of an individual in custody pushed Archie to breaking point.
“I was emotionally exhausted. I didn’t realise that I was actually suffering with PTSD and was struggling to move on from the incident. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I decided to take early retirement. I needed to put my mental health first for once.”
Although Archie knew he had made the right choice, he knew it was going to be tough financially. That’s when he decided to give us a call.
“I was worried about money and how my family would manage. Asking for help in my kind of world is hard. But if I can do it, then anybody can do it. We’ve got to make the most of this excellent charity at our fingertips.”
After discussing his situation in detail, we found that we were able to help Archie financially during this particularly challenging time in his life. Although the money was a big help, it was the emotional support that Archie felt had the greatest impact.
“The guy on the phone was absolutely brilliant. It was somebody who just sat and listened to me, without any judgement. It’s as if he’d known me for years.”
In addition to providing a supportive conversation, we signposted Archie to our partner organisation Anxiety UK. When we recently got back in touch, Archie was in a much better place and is regaining his confidence day by day.
“Sometimes I feel emotionally exhausted when I talk about my problems. But I didn’t with this person from the Charity. I felt happy, I felt like myself again. You wouldn’t believe how that helped me at the time.”