Evolution Incidence and Components of U.S. Police Agency Mental Health Services

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Postal survey research was conducted between September and November, 1986, to gather information concerning the evolution, existence and extent of mental health services available to police personnel. Questionnaires were mailed to all 366 municipal, county, and state police agencies in the United States that employed 200 or more workers. Usable data were obtained from 76.8% of the agencies surveyed. Of the 281 respondents who returned usable data, 65.1% reported the existence of mental health services available to their police personnel. The majority of respondents (58.6%) perceived their mental health programs as being equally reactive and preventive in orientation. The most ... continued below

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vii, 118 leaves: ill.

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White, John H. (John Hubert) May 1987.

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  • White, John H. (John Hubert)

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Postal survey research was conducted between September and November, 1986, to gather information concerning the evolution, existence and extent of mental health services available to police personnel. Questionnaires were mailed to all 366 municipal, county, and state police agencies in the United States that employed 200 or more workers. Usable data were obtained from 76.8% of the agencies surveyed.
Of the 281 respondents who returned usable data, 65.1% reported the existence of mental health services available to their police personnel. The majority of respondents (58.6%) perceived their mental health programs as being equally reactive and preventive in orientation. The most frequently reported existing components were outside agency counseling, stress management seminars, and testing of potential police recruits. Over half (54.8%) of the responding police agencies reported having between 10 and 19 components in their respective mental health programs. The implementation dates and evolution of twenty-five (25) components were examined, and specific components of various police agencies were also revealed.
The majority of respondents (70.7%) reported their mental health programs were available to sworn and nonsworn personnel and their families. Almost all respondents (98.3%) viewed their programs as being cost effective. Also, most agencies were satisfied with the four treatment resources listed, which included in-house counseling, outside agency counseling, hospital in-patient programs, and alcohol/drug rehabilitation centers. Slightly over half (50.8%) of the respondents stated their service programs were entitled "Employee Assistance Program." Of the 300 staff workers holding mental health degrees, 101 were reported to have doctoral degrees in psychology. The most frequently reported personality theory utilized by staff members was eclecticism (48.5%).
The prevailing high interest in police mental health services is discussed as well as possible reasons why some police managers may be apathetic towards the implementation of such services. Ways of educating police managers as to the benefits of police mental health programs are listed as well as topics for future research.

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vii, 118 leaves: ill.

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  • May 1987

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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White, John H. (John Hubert). Evolution Incidence and Components of U.S. Police Agency Mental Health Services, dissertation, May 1987; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc330895/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .