A graduate of the Bond University Law Faculty and Griffith University Department of Humanities, James Maskey is the National Engagement Manager of the Beyond Blue Police and Emergency Services Program, working to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions, attempted suicide and suicide among police and emergency service personnel.
James is also a retired front-line Queensland Police Officer with a service history including General Duties, The Police Citizen’s Youth Club and the Child Protection & Investigation Unit. During the course of his duties, James responded to countless critical incidents, murders, suicides, domestic violence incidents, fatal traffic crashes and serious sexual assaults.
Constant exposure to these critical incidents compromised James’ mental health, causing him to endure some of the debilitating symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In 2013 James was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In 2015, James made the difficult but empowering decision to resign from the Queensland Police Service in an effort to reclaim his mental health.
PTSD is still part of James’ life. It didn’t conveniently disappear when he made the decision to move forward and leave the situations that caused the mental illness in the first place. It’s a constant and daily journey.
After leaving the Queensland Police Service James moved to Melbourne and tested new career options including Case Management and Team Management for a not for profit child welfare agency. After signing up to a local gym and undertaking several personal training sessions, he found a new sense strength and solace in fitness. Running marathons and completing Spartan obstacle course races, James became fitter, stronger and faster than ever before.
Recent endurance events include:
• In 2018, James competed in the ‘Fire and Ice’ Ultra Marathon, one of the toughest multi-terrain races in the world, spanning 250 km through undulating terrain situated in Iceland. James represented Australia in Iceland, competing against some of the world’s most elite ultra-runners. Whilst training for and competing in this gruelling event James raised awareness of PTSD and funds for Phoenix Australia – The National Centre for Excellence in Post Traumatic Mental Health.
• In 2019, alongside three teammates, James was awarded an ultra-endurance wold record for the maximum distance travelled on a Concept2 SkiErg cardio machine in 24-hours. Whilst training for and performing this gruelling ultra-endurance world record, the team championed awareness, support and raised much-needed funds for two Australian based Non-Governmental Organisations – Beyond Blue and the Lighthouse Foundation.
Dedicated to empowering others to reclaim their mental and physical health through education and training, he is enthusiastic about the profoundly positive impact that regular and mindful exercise has on supporting mental health.
James is incredibly passionate about changing the stigma that surrounds mental health, raising the profile of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and supporting those who endure mental health challenges to seek the support of professionals who can help them recover.