The response must be a minimum of 150 words and a minimum of 2 references.
Territo, L., & Sewell, J.D. (2019). Stress management in law enforcement (4th ed.). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. ISBN: 9781531015756.
This week’s discussion post focuses on identifying stressful mindsets and ways to cope with them once they are discovered. Determining early warning signs and how to handle them accordingly can save not only careers but lives themselves. Territo and Sewell (2019) discuss early warning screenings that identify issues quickly for first responders after major critical incidents. These identifying moments can prevent a spiral effect that places officers mentally and physically in life-threatening situations. Thus, finding ways to relieve stress before it builds and fills the proverbial bucket can prevent long-lasting issues. Sometimes these stressors are hard to determine and do not affect everyone the same. McKay-Davis et al. (2020) discuss 54 related law enforcement stressors that police can go through in their career. They break down different types of stress based on positions within the job. Examples would be that crime scene observation, excessive calls for service, and angry civilians while also home issues that law enforcement focuses on, like protecting one’s family at work and away from home. With so many possible stressors, officers must find ways to deal with these stresses before the problem becomes persistent.
Options for assisting officers with early stress management techniques include the officer seeking help before it is necessarily needed (Territo & Sewell, 2019). Seeking help can be from various sources but talking to someone about work is critical. The authors tell us that talking to someone about spiritual help or having someone outside of the law enforcement job to talk to can help individuals dealing with stress on the job. This approach can be considered pre-maintenance as seeking early stress management through talking to a friend, family member, or religious figure can place individuals in the sight of the officers helping not only to talk about work but see signs that further issues may be arising. Territo and Sewell continue by saying that resilience is essential in preparing for stressful situations. Arming themselves with the ability to deal with stress is just as crucial as handling stress when it arrives. A positive culture where officers feel free to talk about their problems while also working in an agency that promotes wellness can help protect the officers. Being physically prepared for stressors that arise is also an acceptable practice in dealing with stress. The authors say that being physically fit gives the officers more strength to deal with the bad things that happen to them on the job, which can also help them mentally.
Law enforcement has become a more understanding area of work when considering the mental health of those who work in the field, which shows that law enforcement understands the change needed in understanding mental health (Duxbury et al., 2021). Things must continue to evolve, and new studies and methods of understanding can help improve the system more. However, it takes researchers to determine possibilities working with law enforcement and mental health professionals to find possibilities.
Duxbury, L., Bardoel, A., & Halinski, M. (2021). ‘bringing the badge home’: Exploring the relationship between role overload, work-family conflict, and stress in police officers. Policing & Society, 31(8), 997-1016. https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2020.1822837Links to an external site.
McKay‐Davis, S., Robinson, T., Sebetan, I. M., & Stein, P. (2020). Civilian forensic technician and sworn police officer Job‐Related stress. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 65(6), 2065-2070. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14543
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