July 10, 2017
“There’s a loss of identity, loss of purpose, value and their whole lifestyle,” Insp Bousfield said. “My hope for the program is that when police officers leave the policing profession there’ll always be an organisation that recognises their profession and maintains connectivity with police force.”
Chairman of NSW Police Legacy Inspector Paul Bousfield and Back Up for Life mentor Heath Thompson at Neptune Park, Revesby. Picture: Carmela RocheWhen Heath Thompson left the NSW Police Force after 23 years, he thought “What am I going to do now?”
“It’s like being in jail,” Mr Thompson said.
“You’re institutionalised to think you can’t do anything apart from being a police officer.”
Like a lot of ex-police officers, Mr Thompson struggled with the transition from cop to civilian, suffering post traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues when he left Campsie LAC in 2011.
But back then, there was no support.
Fast forward six years and a new NSW Police Legacy initiative, Back Up For Life, is providing post-service support for former NSW police officers and their families.
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