Police and Their Relationship with Personal Mental Health

Date

2023-05

Authors

Hall, Sabrina M.

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Abstract

Society expects police officers to go into the world and help everyone while recognizing mental health issues in others. However, often they cannot recognize those issues within themselves. There are many reasons police officers do not get help from mental health services. One reason police officers do not seek help is the fear of repercussions from their peers or superiors, ostracization, denial of promotions, being stuck at desk duty, or losing their jobs. A major factor is the paramilitarization of law enforcement, which stems from the service’s being a male-dominated field. Male gender roles and socialization are some of the informal social norms in law enforcement. There are many severe consequences of these police officers not receiving help including. suicide, mental disorders, substance abuse, addiction, and family violence. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with these severe issues. Police departments should not fire someone who is receiving help, and, if the person is not fit for duty, it should be the department's job to help the officer find another job, regardless of whether that job is in the criminal justice field. Police superiors should require their officers to consult a psychologist after a traumatic event as a precaution against negative consequences. Law enforcement needs to put more emphasis on and devote more resources to officers' mental health. Society expects police officers consistently to be level-headed while witnessing the worst days in peoples’ lives walk away without trauma or adverse mental health effects.

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Keywords

police, mental health, Honors College

Citation

Hall, S. M. (2023). Police and their relationship with personal mental health. Honors College, Texas State University.

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