Understanding the mental health and wellbeing needs of police officers and staff in Scotland

Demou, E. , Hale, H. and Hunt, K. (2020) Understanding the mental health and wellbeing needs of police officers and staff in Scotland. Police Practice and Research, 21(6), pp. 702-716. (doi: 10.1080/15614263.2020.1772782)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Professor Kathryn and Demou, Dr Evangelia
Authors: Demou, E., Hale, H., and Hunt, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Police Practice and Research
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1477-271X
Published Online:09 June 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Police Practice and Research 21(6:)702–716
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU12
168560MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit