Gettys, Cynthia


This study explores the attitudes of police officers toward personal utilization of mental health services. It is a mixed-methods, descriptive study which incorporated qualitative interviews and quantitative data collected from local police officers. The Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help-SF scale (ATSPPH-SF) was used to measure officer attitudes toward utilizing mental health services. Qualitative interview questions were used to further investigate their attitudes regarding mental health. The scores from the ATSPPH-SF scale reflected that the police officers in this study were moderately accepting of counseling services. Participants stated that officers would primarily be deterred from counseling due to prideful personalities often found among law enforcement officers, as well as a fear of not being understood by a mental health professional. Police officers primarily rely on physical exercise to deal with any psychological struggles they may face. Participants stated that providing mental health professionals who have been immersed in police culture/experiences would encourage more receptiveness of mental health services among police officers.