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A Cross National Study Using Anecdotal Accounts of Trauma Reaction in Police Officers

Sajida Naz, Helen Gavin, Linda Yoder, Nida Jamshed,

Bushra Khan & Iram Gul

This cross-national exploratory study was carried out to assess the nature of traumatic experiences, psychological reactions and challenges related to coping among police officers from Pakistan and the United Kingdom. The existing gap in available literature limits our understanding about how police officers involved in traumatic work experiences, cope and achieve resilient emotional reactions. The comparison of data obtained from five police officers of each country was made to assess similarities and differences in phenomenon. Analyses identified some of the main challenges to coping were negative public image, lack of logistic facilities and psychological support systems, and other personal and professional difficulties. These challenges are discussed from the perspective of trauma experiences in the two countries and coping strategies employed by security personnel to deal with the psychological outcomes. The findings have revealed that stigmatization was associated with psychological help and police officers consult their families and friends instead of professionals for
mental health issues.

Keywords: Police Officers, Traumatic Experiences, Emotional Reactions, Coping,
Psychological Assessment, Emotional Robustness