Sarah-Jane (SJ) Lennie served as a police officer for 18 years before struggling with her mental health and finally making a personally difficult decision to change her career. It was only at the point of finally speaking out about her own experiences of mental ill-health that she came to realise how many of her colleagues were also suffering, though no one was talking.
Coming from a family of police officers, with both parents and husband serving officers, Sarah Jane has always cared deeply about the policing family. Driven by the belief that police officers should not be expected to suffer, Sarah Jane has dedicated her new academic career to exploring the lived experience of police officers, examining their emotional experiences and their ability to express themselves emotionally.
This has led to a better understanding as to how organisational culture around emotional expression is pivotal to police officers mental well-being. Sarah Jane is now an academic research student at Manchester Metropolitan University, and on track to complete her PhD at the end of 2019. Her thesis is: Emotional (In)Authenticiy: The psychological impact of emotional labour on police officers in England and Wales.
She is also an Ambassador for Police Care UK.