Mental health stigma and help-seeking intentions in police employees


  • Daniel W. Grupe Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.



perceived stigma, self-stigma, mindfulness, psychological distress


Mental health problems among police employees are exacerbated by negative attitudes and beliefs around mental health help-seeking that are perpetuated by police culture. We collected anonymous survey data from 257 civilian and commissioned police employees in a mid-sized, Midwestern U.S. city to test hypothesized relationships among help-seeking stigma, help-seeking attitudes, and intended help-seeking behaviour. Results demonstrated that mental health help-seeking stigma was negatively associated with help-seeking attitudes, and in turn with reduced mental health help-seeking intentions. Structural equation modeling provided support for a model linking help-seeking stigma, help-seeking attitudes, and intentions to seek help. This path model was moderated by psychological distress and previous participation in mindfulness training, which had opposing effects on help-seeking stigma and (indirectly) on intended help-seeking. Results provide insight into policies, practices, and interventions that police agencies may enact to combat stigma, positively influence mental health help-seeking, and improve the mental health and well-being of police employees and the broader community.


Download data is not yet available.



How to Cite

Grupe, D. W. (2023). Mental health stigma and help-seeking intentions in police employees. Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being, 8(Suppl_1), S32-S39.