CK Police Officer Launches New Book On PTSD
A member of the Chatham-Kent OPP believes attitudes towards post-traumatic stress disorder are changing within the force.
Sergeant Brian Knowler has written a book on PTSD, based on his own experiences with the mental illness during an 18-year tenure in policing.
The veteran officer says he once worried seeking help might damage his career, but not anymore.
“This is the kind of thing that’s going to change it, is when somebody steps up and says ‘you know what, yes, I am dealing with this awful injury, but we need to talk about it,'” he says.
“If putting my life out there and my family’s life out there in print will help others…it was well worth it.”
Knowler was the first officer on scene of a car accident in 2004 that claimed the life of his good friend.
It wasn’t until seven years later, still haunted by that day, that he began to face his demons and receive treatment.
Around the same time, Ontario’s Ombudsman released a damning report on the OPP’s handling of operational stress injuries.
It motivated Knowler to help inspire a paradigm shift, and put pen to paper.
“If you sprained your ankle or your wrist while you were dealing with a bad guy…that was an acceptable injury. You would kind of wear it as a badge of honour,” Knowler says.
“But when it came to physiological injuries, you kind of get tucked away in a corner and nobody really talks about it. I thought this has to change.”
Knowler’s book, ‘On the Other Side of Broken – One Cop’s Battle With the Demons of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder,’ officially launches this Thursday, September 22 at the Chatham-Kent Public Library.
The event gets underway at 5:30pm, and will include a reading, a question period and a book signing.
Knowler says his book is for anyone dealing with the aftermath of a physiological injury, as well as their support system.
“The one thing I really want to emphasize is you’re never alone. And that was the problem for me. For way too long, I tried to tackle it alone, almost losing my marriage, my home,” Knowler says.
“It took me getting to that point to realize I don’t have to do this alone anymore.”