The Mental Health and Service Use of Texas Law Enforcement Officers

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As law enforcement officers are regularly exposed to unique stressors during the course of their occupation, they are at elevated risk of developing mental health problems. Indeed, previous literature has identified that law enforcement officers endorse higher rates of mental health problems than the general population. Despite this, many officers do not seek mental health treatment. Lack of service utilization is particularly concerning as mental health problems have been associated with deficits in job performance. The current study aimed to identify rates of mental health problems with the Texas law enforcement community, as well as rates of treatment seeking for job-related incidents. This study identified that mental health problems are common among officers in Texas, with the three most frequently endorsed conditions being: sleep disturbances (45.00%), depression (32.90%), and PTSD (12.90%). Further, only 1.40% of officers were currently in mental health treatment and 17.90% had previously sought out mental health related treatment. These findings, their implications, and future directions are discussed.

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