• Mental health in the UK police force: A qualitative investigation into the stigma with mental illness

      Edwards, Ann-Marie; Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (Springer, 2020-01-15)
      Police work is a high-risk profession that can cause mental health conditions. With increasing sickness levels and falling police numbers, it is essential prompt mental health treatment be implemented. The study aims to explore institutional negativity and stigma in the police force toward mental ill health. Semi-structured interviews attended by five police officers with thematic analysis captured i) police culture, ii) the stigma of mental illness, iii) disclosure of mental illness and iv) breaking down barriers. Findings indicate police culture and attitudes to mental health may contribute to the causes of psychological illness, rather than the nature of the job itself. Increased education and awareness surrounding mental health have been shown to be fundamental in how an officer reacts to stress, but change is needed at a managerial level. Future research needs to explore the effects of mental health stigma on ethnicity and gender in the police force.