Article

Understanding the Mental Health and Wellbeing Needs of Police Officers and Staff in Scotland

Citation

Demou E, Hale H & Hunt K (2020) Understanding the Mental Health and Wellbeing Needs of Police Officers and Staff in Scotland. Police Practice and Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2020.1772782

Abstract
Police work can be stressful and demanding and can impact on employee wellbeing. This study aimed to understand mental health (MH) issues and risk factors for poor MH in officers and staff of the Police Service of Scotland (PSoS); and gather their ideas of workplace wellbeing interventions that are suitable for this workforce. Face-to-face/telephone interviews were conducted with 30 Superintendents and eight stakeholders, recruited throughout PSoS. Interview topics included: MH issues; health/health behaviours; employment; and potentially beneficial workplace interventions. A thematic analysis approach was adopted. High levels of occupational stress and anxiety, currently or in the past, were reported, as were experiences of PTSD, anxiety and depression. The main stressors reported were working hours, workload, culture, leadership and organisational change. Officers and staff recognised progress towards promoting and managing MH in the service but identified interventions, including training, counselling, and environmental workplace changes as needed to address mental health issues within police cultures.

Keywords
police; mental health; workplace intervention; stress; PTSD; stigma; occupational health

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
Police Practice and Research

StatusIn Press
Publication date online30/06/2020
Date accepted by journal02/05/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31089
ISSN1561-4263
eISSN1477-271X