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August 23, 2020

New study analyzes how public safety personnel access mental health support

Mental health support for public safety personnel (PSP) is a serious issue; however, there is little evidence to explain what helps PSP who are facing mental health challenges. For this study, Mental Health Training, Attitudes Toward Support, and Screening Positive for Mental Disorders (2019), PSP were asked about their experience with mental health training, their attitudes about mental health, and the types of assistance they were willing to use if they had a workplace mental health issue. Results showed that PSP are most willing to rely on their spouse or friends for mental health support, and would only consider using an employee assistance program as a last resort.

Participation in mental health training appeared to have a small effect on PSP willingness to ask for help; however, most PSP reported that they do have access to professional mental health resources.

Participation in mental health training was associated with fewer PSP screening positive for some, but not all, mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and certain types of anxiety.

There needs to be more research done in order to better understand why PSP access mental health training and the effect it may have on certain types of mental health disorders. This study also shows that more training and resource support for PSP family members and leadership may be needed.

The full and final version of the article is available online at:

Lay summary “I Want Help, But Not From You: Public Safety Personnel and Mental Health Programs and Support”

View additional publications on CIPSRT’s Publications page.

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