Police Stressors, Mental Health Issues and Provider Preferences Among Police Officers

Elizabeth Ann Willman


This study examined police stressors, mental health issues, and provider preferences among police officers. The study was conducted utilizing the Police Officer Survey developed by this researcher. Variables under consideration included five specific law enforcement stressors and four types of mental health professionals police officers would potentially be willing to see for services. Although the results of this study did not support the main hypothesis which made the supposition that police officers would most likely prefer speaking to a fellow peer officer regarding psychological issues on the job rather than a trained mental health professional, the results of this study did indicated that police officers preference for speaking to a trained mental health professional would vary based on the type of mental health concern the officer is faced with. If forced to make a choice among trained professionals, officers most frequently strongly agreed or agreed that they would chose the mental health professional that was most closely aligned with the concern at hand. One of the most revealing findings of this study occurred when officers were asked the additional question of whether or not they would choose to seek help at all (i.e. “I would not seek help). Across mental health issues, officers stated a preference for not seeking help at all. Implications for law enforcement and for mental health providers are discussed.

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[JLE] ISSN 2161-0231 (Online)

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