Cop’s charity climbs in memory of brother

A caring cop has raised hundreds of pounds for charity after scaling four peaks in 24 hours - in honour of his brother who sadly took his own life.

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Henderson took part in the Lake Districts 3000s challenge which involves walking up the four highest points − over 3,000 feet - covering 44 miles.

The 37-year-old completed the gruelling trek last weekend in aid of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) - which is a leading movement against male suicide, offering a confidential hotline and webchat service seven days a week.

Adam lost his own brother Toby in 2014, aged 33, which had a devastating impact on the all family including himself. 

Adam was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression in 2017 − three years after Toby’s death. He began his road to recovery thanks to the help and support of his family, friends and the force which offers a specialist support network to staff.

Research suggests suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged between 18-45 in the UK. One theory for the disproportionate percentage is men do not feel able to talk openly about their mental health because of deeply ingrained stereotypes and expectations of masculinity. Adam, who is based within the force’s public protection unit, said:

“Until Toby’s death I was probably as guilty as anyone of perpetuating the stigma around mental health. When my own health began to deteriorate I did what I fear many police officers would do: I just carried on, throwing myself into a high-pressured working environment.

“Asking for help was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Because it meant that I wasn’t okay. That I did not meet the level of expectation set by myself and by society. That I had failed both as a man and as a police officer. That I was weak, that I was broken." 

Alongside his other brother Dave they decided to take on the Lake District challenge - Skiddaw, Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Scafell - with more than 14,000 feet of ascent, for CALM which provides a vital helpline for men who may be struggling or considering suicide. They completed it in 23 hours and 18 minutes and raised more than £500. 

"Returning to the Lake District reminded me of Toby, probably because it was the place where Toby felt most at home, roaming the fells and the wild places. 

“It has been great to help with the fundraising but if I can encourage just one person to feel slightly more comfortable talking about their own mental health, and to seek help, then I will consider the effort well worth it."


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