He has written about his experiences as a police officer in 9370 � Sooner or Later Everyone Pays a Price: A Memoir About Front Line Policing.
He said post-traumatic stress (PTS) was something that remained etched in people�s subconscious for the rest of their life.
�You can learn to manage it with therapy and counselling, but sadly many haven�t come back from it because they take their life before they give themselves a chance to get better,� he said.
�It is soul-destroying and at its worst suicidal. Untreated and exposed to a constant accumulation of PTS incidents is a mental time bomb.�
Mr Yates compared his experience to that of soldiers in combat. He said they experienced a range of stressful situations �outside of the range of usual human experience� and police officers often did not receive the community support they needed either.
He comes back to the war analogy often, asking readers to �think of Anzac and Remembrance Day, to observe the old Diggers with their chest full of ribbons and medals, with tears streaming from their eyes�.
They are still affected by incidents that happened to them many years ago.
�I have good days and not-so-good days; it is a daily fight to stay positively focused,� he said.
�I�m a long way from that black hole I was in years ago.�
There are also often financial repercussions for officers affected by PTS.
�Police officers who are forced to medically retire because of PTS are not covered by worker�s compensation,� he said.
�Unemployed, they become financially responsible for their own medical costs.
�There is no after-care support or help for treatment and counselling.�
This is due to a loophole where the WA Government considers police officers as holders of a public office.
�It�s saying you can be a police officer at your own risk. If you get injured while on the job and can�t work anymore, you don�t matter, you are on your own,� he said.
Ultimately, Mr Yates wants other officers who are struggling with PTS to know they are not alone.
�It�s not a weakness. There is hope, the condition can be managed,� he said.
�I want to promote more understanding between the community and police.
�I wanted to share my moments of truth that were stranger than fiction.
�There were so many of them and readers can be forgiven if they think the stories were made up but they are all real; they did happen.�