Background: Police officers are frequently exposed to situations that can negatively impact their mental health.
Methods: We conducted this study of an urban police department to determine 1) the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and alcohol abuse; 2) patterns of and barriers to mental-health services utilization; and 3) the impact these conditions have on productivity loss.
Results: Among 150 officers, PTSD (24%), depression (9%), and alcohol abuse (19%) were common. Only46.7% had ever sought mental-health services; the most commonly cited barriers to accessing serviceswere concerns regarding confidentiality and the potential"negative career impact." Officers with mental-health conditions had higher productivity loss (5.9% vs 3.4%, P<0.001) at an annual cost of $4,489 per officer.
Conclusion: Mental-health conditions among police officers are common, and costly, yet most officers had never accessed mental-health services; many due to modifiable risk factors.