Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 141–154 | Cite as

Perceptions of Law Enforcement Officers in Seeking Mental Health Treatment in a Right-to-Work State

  • Amy K. White
  • Gregory Shrader
  • Jared Chamberlain


The high stress environment of law enforcement places officers at risk for a variety of mental and physical health problems; however, officers are reluctant to seek out treatment. The purpose of this study was to identify which factors associated with law enforcement officers had predictive value in the level of stigma perceived in seeking mental health treatment by currently employed, certified peace officers in Arizona. The factors included sex, age, race/ethnicity, years employed as an officer, size of the department, current rank/position within the department, the type of government operating the agency, and payment of union dues. The study included 454 participants. Participation included the completion of demographic data, the Self-Stigma of Seeking Psychological Help (SSOSH), and the Perceptions of Stigmatization by Others for Seeking Help (PSOSH). Using standard multiple regression, the most significant finding was the relationship between the size of the department and levels of stigma (p = .014); such that, the size was inversely related to the levels of perceived stigma. As the agency size increased, the perceptions of stigma decreased. Such a finding has several implications for law enforcement agencies related to preparedness and training.


law enforcement stigma mental health right-to-work state 


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Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy K. White
    • 1
  • Gregory Shrader
    • 1
  • Jared Chamberlain
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona School of Professional PsychologyArgosy UniversityPhoenixUSA

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