People from all over Northern Ireland have described a P.S.N.I message posted on Facebook on Wednesday evening as “one of the greatest” they have ever read.
The post was written by a P.S.N.I. officer known only as ‘M’ and it was published on P.S.N.I. Craigavon’s Facebook page at 7:00pm on Wednesday evening.
The post begins with Officer ‘M’ listing all of the things he or she did while injured and on sick leave recently.
The beginning of Officer ‘M’s’ post is lighthearted and humorous but soon turns into something completely different and unexpected.
“Things I did whilst off injured: watched all 3 seasons of Narcos; ended up in a swimming pool with Rory Best; asked Noel [Thompson] off of BBC if he could get me Barra's [Best - weather presenter] autograph; spent less time in hospital than I do when I'm working; lead a conga line round a wedding dance floor; was told to tell the guy who does Craigavon Facebook he's an annoying ****; told him I'd pass the message on immediately; got shouted at in the middle of Belfast for whistling "at" a girl... when I was whistling the Jurassic Park theme tune at a guy wearing a Jurassic Park hoody.”
Officer ‘M’ continued: “Found out two mates attempted suicide; found out another mate was suffering from depression and contemplating suicide; found out a fourth mate's child was self harming and found out a fifth mate is on medication for anxiety.”
Officer ‘M’ went on stress just how important it is for men in particular to be more open about their mental health.
“Most people who bothered to read all that will have gone ‘wow’ at the change of tone, however the desire will still be to go for the easy option here and ask about the fun stuff.
“Yes it all happened and yes, you'll hear more about some of it, but consider this: these friends were people I was in contact with. People who I know. I had no idea they were at that stage. My assumption, wrongly, was that they were fine.
“Today, don't take the easy option; don't assume those you care about are fine; take that time with a friend, maybe one you haven't seen in a while, and ask how they really are; you could make that difference; you could start that conversation and yrou could save a life.
“Lads, above all else, it's time to get over ourselves. This ‘alpha male’ thing is on its head. The alpha stays where he is there because he looks after himself and the rest of his pack have his back.
”That means minding his head too! It's neither weak nor a loss of face to talk about what's going on in our heads. It's human nature. Is it time for you to talk?”
Officer ‘M’s’ has been shared and liked thousands of times on social media since it was published.
“Sorry to hear about your friends,” replied one woman.
”Be sure to take care of your personal mental health as well. Brilliant post, very well worded,” she added.
One man said: “Excellent and thought provoking.”
Whilst another added: “This is awesome M and it’s wonderful to see so many opening up and discussing their mental health - I have no doubt this will make a massive difference.”