I hate to think how many hours of my personal life have gone in to all of this – the vast majority of it was done in time off at home and in addition to my ‘day job’ - but that was all time not spent being a husband, a father or a dog-walker. It was time not spent playing music and squash. In particular, I need to sort the garage out!
I started this off so I could put a load of information in the public domain, available to police officers and others about laws, clinical threats and risks so they could police more effectively or work with the police. Along the way, I’ve written dozens of pieces that some refer to as “polemic”: my views on how some of this stuff could be done far better. As I approached a hundred posts I started to think I was running out of issues to cover and various things prompted yet more posts as weird and wonderful situations led to officers asking questions and requesting other issues to be explained or made accessible in a different way. It’s been apparent to me for a while, that I’m now repeating myself, possibly to exemplify newsworthy events, but also for its own sake.
I’ve also written some posts like the recent “PARAMEDIC SERIES” which simply restate what is already there, albeit pitched to a different audience with another perspective and that’s fine too if it helps a different professional group. I’m half thinking about a psych-nurse series, for example. But essentially, I’m sort of done here. I have about twenty draft blogs in the pipeline and these will be the basis to continue from time to time, but I’m going to start thinking about other things, in life and mental health.
- Last weekend, the blog was used over 10,000 times in single day;
- Last week, it was used over 25,000 times
- It has been used more than a quarter of a million times in the eighteen months since it all started and has been read in almost 150 countries around the world.
- It is regularly and seriously used across Europe, the Commonwealth and the United States.
Not bad outcomes arising from a frontline policeman just banging on about laws, guidelines and Codes of Practice. All very turgid stuff, potentially.
I am determined to keep chipping away in this arena of policing and working as hard as I can to influence it from wherever I am posted to work, I’m just going to do this less by blogging.
- I am determined to get around to doing a few vlogs – video blogs, because I’ve had various requests to explain some of this material in short video clips that could then be used by others in various ways.
- I will continue with those draft pieces, but I’ll be devoting only a certain amount of time per week to finishing them and they’ll come out as and when.
- I may think about doing a monthly round-up of news, other people’s blogs and some other short-thoughts
- I may do the odd one-off post about especially newsworthy or unusual events.
- I will think about how the blog can be used to support the inputs I now regularly do at a few universities, like the MSc course in Forensic Mental Health at the University of Birmingham – I’ve been a visiting lecturer there for a few years.
- The blog will shortly have material published on it to support a pilot training programme we are going to do in the West Midlands.
You might see one or two posts a month from me, at the most, unless something specific pops up as suggested in the bullet points above … maybe a guest post here and there from others. But I just want to be clear: I’m won’t entirely stop blogging and I’m not back away from this agenda of police work. It’s just time for a refreshed strategy!
And meanwhile, in the immortal words of Tom Petty:
The Mental Health Cop blog won
- the Mind 2012 Digital Media Award, in memory and in honour of Mark Hanson.
The Awards celebrate the “best portrayals of and reporting on mental health in the media.”
- a World of Mentalists 2012 #TWIMAward for the best in mental health blogs.
It was described as “a unique mix of professional resource, help for people using services and polemic.”