‘Together in Work, but Alone at Heart’: Insider Perspectives on the Mental Health of British Police Officers

Tim Turner, Molly Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This research explored the mental health of British police. Interviews with six officers, of varying rank, were conducted to explore the nature, prevalence and causes of mental health issues amongst colleagues. Data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to draw out key themes.

Results indicate that whilst mental health issues are pervasive amongst police, many avoid seeking help due to a culture of invincibility, and a fear of impeding their career progression. The cause of distress was principally attributed to organizational bureaucracy; the impact of exposure to trauma was consistently minimized. Participants were critical of formal support mechanisms, and felt the absence of social spaces at work impeded collegiate support, and caused feelings of isolation. Findings highlight the need for a cultural shift, at both an individual and organizational level. Education is needed to counter the stigma of psychological distress amongst officers. Furthermore, mechanisms of formal and informal support should be reviewed as a priority.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberpay016
Number of pages10
JournalPolicing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice following peer review. The version of record Turner, T & Jenkins, M 2018, '‘Together in Work, but Alone at Heart’: Insider Perspectives on the Mental Health of British Police Officers' Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice is available online at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/police/pay016

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

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