Mental health in policing: Treatment for officers in crisis

Mental health in policing is becoming a greater focus for UK police federations and forces. That focus is good news when you consider one in five police officers will suffer from PTSD or complex PTSD.

When AnonyMind representatives – passionate about individualised treatment for people suffering from mental ill-health – met Cheshire Police Federation’s Dan Lever, it led to a ground-breaking initiative offering tailored support to officers in crisis.

Mental health in policing – getting the right support

Dan Lever is Cheshire Police Federation’s equality and wellbeing lead. He recognises there is no one-size-fits-all answer to mental health. And through his partnership with AnonyMind, the Federation provides its police officers a critical level of treatment for complex mental health needs, including trauma and PTSD.

Speaking about why and how the partnership with AnonyMind began, Dan says: “For those police officers who had more complex mental ill health issues, we needed more intensive, bespoke treatment. We were reaching a point where the support for some wasn’t enough – it wasn’t making them any better. Neither mental health charities nor occupational health could help.

“I had a conversation with a police officer who required stage four treatment for mental health, which is really severe. The NHS told him there was a waiting list of at least two years. Well, that two years we may never get to that point. We were losing people along the way.”

Our team are experts in complex mental health challenges, and the personalised, intensive treatment that leads to recovery. And Dan was given AnonyMind’s details by a colleague in another force.

We worked with Dan to immediately get the officers who needed help into life-changing and life-saving intensive treatment with our psychologists. The service received its first referral in February 2022.

Mental health in policing – trauma and absenteeism

One in five police offers will suffer from PTSD or complex PTSD. And, they will also experience 400 to 600 traumatic incidents during their careers – compared to the usual four to six. So, police officers are subsequently at greater risk of suffering from trauma-related mental ill health.

Mental health in policing statistic
Mental health in policing

Additionally, a study of recorded absences from work of UK police employees suggests police employee absence due to psychological ill health, trauma, and stress nearly doubled in the past 10 years to an absence rate of 8.82%. The same study found that 39% of those who take a first leave of absence due to mental ill health go on to take further absences from work.

These are some of the reasons why Dan is placing education and prevention at the forefront of his work. He is encouraging people to ask for support sooner, to help prevent the higher risks and need for intensive treatment.

Meanwhile he is dealing with the fact that everyone’s mental health experiences are different. And some people won’t talk or seek support until their mental ill health reaches severe crisis. This means putting in the various levels of support needed is vital.

Mental health in policing – recovery

Dan believes that the treatment provided to his officers has been transformational, and life-saving. He says: “We review how our officers feel it’s going. They are over the moon with the treatment, the specialists they speak to, and the difference it’s making. In particular for one of the officers – I feared for his safety, his personal life – his marriage, and his job. I saw no way at that point [the start of his treatment] of him ever going back to policing. And neither did he. He couldn’t even talk about policing.

“And although we still have some way to go, we’re now in conversations about him going back to work. If that isn’t a testament to the treatment, then I don’t know what is. We’ve quite likely saved the career, potentially the life of a serving officer.”

Watch our full video interview with Dan Lever for greater insight into our work, and the officers we support:

We can support your people too!

Don’t wait. Contact us today to discuss how we can immediately start treating your people, to move them into recovery from crisis:


International Recovery Day 2022

International Recovery Day is a non-profit organisation that promotes all recovery pathways from addiction worldwide. It aims to educate the public about the value of addiction recovery. 

And this year, it’s aiming for the sky with a unique virtual fireworks event.

How did International Recovery Day start, and how can you get involved in the celebration?

Having retired from a life-long career in the addiction prevention and treatment realm, its Founder, John Winslow, shifted his energies to build bridges within recovery communities. 

He experienced widespread support for the concept of an international event linking individuals, families, and recovery communities. So, a Steering Committee was formed, non-profit status was secured, and a Facebook page was established to build further support, recognition, and connectivity within the global recovery community.

The organisation’s overarching goal is to connect recovering individuals, families, and communities globally to provide hope to overcome addiction. 

International Recovery Day objectives

  • To heighten awareness of the value of recovery and how individuals in recovery transform from being part of the problem to part of the solution
  • To demonstrate to the recovery community and all of humanity how diverse, widespread, passionate, positive, committed, and connected a force we are
  • To shift the focus of the ravages of addiction from “the problem” to “the solution”
  • To connect individuals and organisations worldwide from all Recovery pathways
  • To celebrate the Recovery Experience
  • To raise awareness that there are many pathways to recovery – no “wrong doors”
  • To offer hope to all individuals (and their loved ones) regarding the power and value of recovery

How can you get involved in International Recovery Day?

International Recovery Day itself is a free online event, globally celebrated on September 30, 2022. The unique event is a one-of-a-kind historic online experience during which, you can launch your own celebratory virtual firework.

To take part in the celebration of the hope and help offered through different recovery paths, you can register below:

And please remember, AnonyMind is here to support anyone in the UK with free, confidential, online treatment for gambling-related harms. 

You can access our free self-help library here

And book free gambling addiction treatment here

Supporting Andy Reid MBE and the Standing Tall Foundation

By working in partnership with Andy Reid MBE and his Standing Tall Foundation at AnonyMind, we’ve seen their commitment to Mental Health and helping others first-hand.

Now, the former soldier is attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro on the 13th anniversary of the explosion in Afghanistan that made him a triple amputee.

In his attempt to summit Africa’s highest mountain, Andy aims to show what amputees can achieve while raising funds for his charity.

Good luck, Andy -we’re all shouting for you!

You can sponsor Andy’s climb and follow his journey, here:
➡️ Just Giving
➡️ Standing Tall Foundation

EDIT: We’re seeing some incredible updates from Andy Reid MB and his team and he begins his climb:

Gambling Addiction Treatment Data: AnonyMind Q2 Service Overview

Inside AnonyMind’s Q2 2022 report, you’ll find unique insights and trends based on our gambling addiction treatment data.

Inside our Q2 2022 report, you’ll find unique insights and trends based on AnonyMind gambling addiction treatment data.

Do you have any questions about the report, our services, or have interest in helping to fund treatment? Please contact AnonyMind’s chief operating officer, Andy Atha: or contact us here.

Gambling Addiction Treatment Data: AnonyMind Q1 Service Overview

Inside AnonyMind’s Q1 report, you’ll find unique insights and trends based on our gambling addiction treatment data.

Do you have any questions about the report, our services, or have interest in helping to fund treatment? Please contact AnonyMind’s chief operating officer, Andy Atha: or contact us here.

Allocate RET Funding

Allocate RET funding to AnonyMind via Leon House Private Clinic: Explore the easy options, including specific treatment programmes, here

AnonyMind supports operators with a direct investment for RET funding to enable our award-winning online therapy and self-help, via AnonyMind parent company, Leon House Private Clinic.

Leon House Private Clinic is endorsed by the UKGC and is on the Research, Education and Training (RET) register. This enables AnonyMind to receive funding from operators as part of their licensing requirements.

Explore the easy options we have for allocating RET funding via Leon House, including specific treatment programmes:

Allocate RET funding here

Want to know more about working with AnonyMind, and the opportunities available to support those struggling with problematic gambling? Contact us at

Gambling addiction treatment provider, AnonyMind, appoints Andy Atha

Gambling addiction treatment provider, AnonyMind, announces appointment of Andy Atha as new COO following 600% increase in registrations for its online treatment – for Q4 2021 compared with Q3.

AnonyMind, the gambling addiction treatment provider, has announced the appointment of Andy Atha as its new chief operating operator. The appointment follows a 600% increase in registrations for its online treatment between Q3 and Q4 2021.

Andy brings gaming industry experience to AnonyMind from a former role as Sky Betting & Gaming safer gambling lead. The experience complements Andy’s healthcare technology insight from his most recent role as operations director at digital healthcare provider, Push Doctor.

AnonyMind provides flexible, online gambling addiction treatment. It offers online access to self-help support and therapy, alongside clinic-based treatment through its parent company, Leon House Private Clinic.

Andy Atha said: “I’m excited to get started, I believe in what this ‘Tech for Good’ award-winner is doing. There is a huge need for easy access to effective treatment. We provide the skills people need to cope, alongside insight to gambling operators to enhance their robust Responsible Gaming strategies.

“AnonyMind has built its processes and capacity. It has reached a point where I have the opportunity to increase awareness and funding for its innovative and potentially life-saving problem gambling treatment. I’m leading from the front and can’t wait to meet more gambling and healthcare industry contacts to discuss their pain points and our ability to solve them.”

Co-founder Andy Iddon added: “Andy will make a perfect captain for our ship. He has an outstanding combination of gambling industry experience and operational leadership in health tech. His insight will help us achieve our mission to support as many people as possible in overcoming gambling addiction. Especially when the NHS is under so much pressure.

“Our clinicians, clients we treat, and peers appreciate that compulsive gamblers face barriers in accessing traditional walk-in and residential treatment. From stigma and GP referrals to waiting lists and the cost and time of attending face-to-face centres. With our client-first model of online treatment, we prove those barriers are removable.”

Get in touch

If you are interested in working with AnonyMind to help support or fund treatment for people affected by gambling harm contact Andy Atha at

Mental health treatment service AnonyMind wins ‘Tech for Good’ award, the online mental health treatment service, has scooped the ‘Tech for Good’ award at this year’s Prolific North Champions Awards.

The scalable and confidential platform continues to remove traditional barriers to people accessing life-changing/life-saving support. Its free-to-use online platform encompasses a self-help library, online self-assessment for gambling addiction, and access to expert therapist treatment when people feel ready.

Mental health treatment options

AnonyMind co-founder Andy Iddon says, “We’re grateful to be recognised by the Prolific North awards judges as an innovative provider. Winning this award will help us reach as many people who need support as possible.

“The clients we treat, and peers we work with, appreciate that compulsive gamblers face barriers in accessing traditional walk-in and residential treatment. From stigma and GP referrals to waiting lists and the cost and time of attending face-to-face centres. With our client-first model of clinic-based (via our parent company, Leon House Private Clinic) and online treatment options, those barriers can be removed.”

Mental health treatment clinics closed

Ryan Durkin, co-founder, said: “While we were working on how to help people recover via technology, the pandemic descended. Lockdowns exacerbated the barriers to treatment. Drop-in clinics and residential facilities – including our parent company clinic Leon House – closed. It made our goal of building AnonyMind a critical solution for countless people cut off from traditional treatment.”

Confidential and flexible

Lead clinician Dr Jamie Barsky explains, “People can now receive confidential treatment from qualified clinicians. And it’s at a time that suits them, regardless of location. For our clinicians, AnonyMind combines the functionality of three NHS platforms into one; patient record management, calendar booking management, and video calls. So, it’s easy for us to help the people who need our support.”

Corporate and armed services solutions

AnonyMind provides services to individuals and businesses with Employee Assistance Programmes and wellbeing provisions. AnonyMind’s co-founders have also funded online mental health treatment for British Armed Services personnel and for Veterans.

Andy concludes: “Our clinicians are from varied backgrounds offering a range of mental health services. S,o we can increase the breadth of treatment we provide for other behavioural and mental health issues. These include depression, anxiety, and stress.”

AnonyMind team at the Prolific North Awards

Get in touch

Get in touch via 0333 939 8321/ if you are:

  • Someone who works for an organisation that needs help with EAP programmes and confidential assessments and treatment
  • Someone working for a charity needing the scale and reach of our qualified clinicians and technology
  • An individual who needs personal support to overcome a gambling addiction

And, let’s talk about how we can work together to help people overcome gambling addiction.

Where does the future lie for gambling operator advertising in professional sport?

Gambling operator advertising in professional sport
Government considers ban of gambling operator advertising in professional sport

According to The Times, the Government may ban betting firm logos from football kits as it weights up a blanket ban on kit sponsorships. And it might not only affect football. Sports such as snooker, darts, and boxing are also under consideration. What does this potential change mean for the future of gambling operator advertising in professional sport?

Government ministers are becoming increasingly concerned about gambling addiction. Currently, eight premier league teams have their shirts sponsored by gambling operators. Matt Zarb-Cousin, director of Clean Up Gambling, said: “Footballers, darts players, snooker players and rugby players are like walking billboards for gambling companies. The evidence shows this sort of advertising is impacting negatively on children who are growing up thinking you have to put on a bet to enjoy sport.”

As it stands, teams from the top two divisions make around £110million a year from shirt deals with gambling companies. But would a potential ban stop at clothing sponsorship?

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a senior figure in the all-party parliamentary group on gambling harm, said a crackdown on shirts is a positive move. Yet, he’s urging the Government to go further and ban advertising from the industry entirely.

“Banning gambling logos on sportswear would be a welcome step,” says Sir Iain. “But given the risks presented by gambling, the Government will need to deal with this issue more widely. A complete ban on gambling advertising is long overdue and, should be brought forward ahead of the gambling review.”

Is this the right step forward? Is advertising the issue, or do the Government and regulators need to give more thought to the behavioural issues of individuals at risk? What are the key drivers for problem gamblers?  

Pros and cons of operator sponsorship 

First, the top two divisions invest income from shirt deals into players wages. And, importantly, teams often reinvest money into their local communities. Thirdly, they invest in opportunities for youth teams, as a result, boosting the younger generation. There are, however, people who still disagree with it. 

What’s the flip side? Campaigners who wish to see an end to sports betting sponsorship argue that it influences minors. Children constantly see gambling company logos on their favourite teams and players which normalises gambling. But it can lead to problems for vulnerable people, especially those at risk of developing an addiction because it can appear safe.

What’s the answer?    

That’s the million-dollar question!

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which heads the review into gambling, insists they don’t yet have a decision on the ban.

“We are undertaking a comprehensive review of gambling laws to make sure they are fit for the digital age. We are determined to tackle problem gambling in all its forms. No decisions have been taken.”

Professional sports teams maximise the sponsorship opportunities to invest in their businesses. And gambling firms use sports as a platform to reach customers.

Is there an alternative to sponsorship advertising where gambling firms can still invest, but without kits? As part of the agreement, can they reinvest to raise the awareness of the support available for individuals struggling with problem gambling or those most at risk?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on advertising in professional sport. Head on over to our social channels to join the conversation.  

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Help for problem gambling – AnonyMind Meets: Dr Jamie Barsky

Watch Dr Jamie Barsky, Lead Clinician for, as he defines problem gambling and shares the help available for those struggling. Plus, Jamie shares how AnonyMind makes it easier for those who need support to reach their recovery goals.

#gambling #askforhelp #itsoktotalk