Elizabeth Beech’s story
Some incidents on duty leave police officers with physical scars. Other officers, like Elizabeth Beech’s former husband Robert, are left with mental scars which can be just as debilitating.
Elizabeth Beech recalls how Robert, the father of her three children, had loved his job as a police officer. During his service he had spent time in both uniform and CID roles and had dealt with his fair share of difficult incidents, but had been badly affected by two particularly distressing cases.
Elizabeth noticed Robert turning to alcohol to deal with his problems.
“Over time, he started drinking more. He started to spend more time on his own and stopped doing things with the children. He ran up debts and he started lying. He wasn’t nice when he was drinking.”
This went on for seven years, at which point Robert was given an ill health retirement on the grounds of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. When he was found dead in his flat some time later Elizabeth’s first thought was ‘how do I tell my children’.
How the Police Dependants’ Trust helped
Elizabeth believes her family home may have been lost without the financial support she has received from the Trust. The Trust has also helped with the cost of a family car and has provided grants to help Elizabeth’s children with their schooling.
“You do feel proud and afraid to ask for help but everyone is so supportive.”