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Suspicious minds: A mixed methods study of police officer and police staff attitudes to mental ill health in England and Wales

Bell, S (2020) Suspicious minds: A mixed methods study of police officer and police staff attitudes to mental ill health in England and Wales. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Policing and mental ill health are inextricably entwined. Operationally the police respond to distressed persons and depending on the circumstances act as pseudo mental health practitioners or law enforcement officers. Likewise, due to operational and organisational stressors policing can be detrimental to the mental health of those delivering the service. Due to the prevalence of mental ill health in society, it is inevitable that police officers and police staff will either experience, work alongside and/or manage colleagues with a mental illness. Therefore, it is vital that the attitudes of police officers and police staff to mental ill health are established. The research employs a mixed methods approach to quantifiably measure police attitudes to mental ill health and benchmark them against the public alongside qualitative data gleaned from survey responses and interviews. The results indicate that police officers/staff share with the public similar attitudinal scores to the public. However, police officers and staff display social distancing whilst being less supportive of community-based interventions. The police qualitative data portrays an organisation where mental health related stigma and discrimination is evident, where disclosure and help seeking is avoided, officers and staff feel isolated and having a mental health issue seen as career destroying. Previous studies into UK police attitudes to mental ill health have been confined to single forces. This national study has established a measure and explanation for police attitudes to mental ill health across England and Wales.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Police; Mental Health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7231 Criminal Justice Administrations > HV7551 Police. Detectives. Constabulary
Divisions: Justice Studies (new Sep 19)
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2020 22:15
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2020 22:16
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00013176
Supervisors: Palmer-Conn, S and Panter, H
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13176

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