Stress management among police officers

The job of a police officer involves tackling challenging tasks that sometimes expose police to violent and life-threatening situations. This causes pressure, anxiety and emotional stress. Leading to less productivity at the workplace. Several signs point out that an officer is under emotional stress. These include absenteeism, policy violations, and misconduct. Stress affects both the physical and mental health of an individual.

Some of the stress coping mechanisms that policemen can adopt include; self-regulation skills, relaxation and resilience training. This helps an officer reduce negative emotions and stress. It also improves sleep. It is estimated that close to 30% of police officers die due to suicide rather than attacks and injuries in the line of duty.

The officer should also avoid drinking alcohol and other stimulating drugs, they contribute to stress rather than reducing it. Exercising is also crucial in reducing stress. It keeps the mind active and prevents it from engaging in more stressful activities. Exercising helps a person maintain a healthy physical and mental state. Police officers should eat a healthy diet. It helps in brain and body development.

Some incidents that policemen face are traumatizing. Police administrators should consider coming up with stress coping strategies. This will give direction to those struggling with stress and help them come up with ways in which they can cope with stressful moments. Officers working to protect the citizens of a country should learn to choose their battles. Multi-tasking and doing more tasks than one can handle adds more stress. Police officers should learn to say no to too many tasks that will stress them up.

Human resource officers working for the police force should be choosy. They should allocate tasks according to the passions and interests of an individual. They should also consider the personality of a person. Matching people with the right skills with the right jobs reduces stress.

Police officers should highly avoid conflicts both at home and in the workplace. This is an essential stress-coping mechanism. Maintaining healthy relationships with others boosts creativity and enhances cooperation. It also creates synergy and rapport with others, this enhances interaction and makes it easy for police officers to express themselves whenever they are faced with stress. Failure to speak up has been proven as one of the reasons why most people commit suicide. Stress management is essential, it not only enables police officers to handle pressure but also promotes both physical and mental development.


Patterson, George T., Irene W. Chung, and Philip G. Swan. “The effects of stress management interventions among police officers and recruits.” Campbell Systematic Reviews 8.1 (2012): 1-54.

Patterson, George T. “Examining the effects of coping and social support on work and life stress among police officers.” Journal of Criminal Justice 31.3 (2003): 215-226.

Hurrell, Joseph J. Stress among police officers. No. 84-108. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science, 1984.


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