Police - how to manage stress and anxiety

Explains how to manage stress and anxiety if you work in the police service, including information on panic attacks and where to go for support.

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What is mental health and mental wellbeing?

Taryn blogs about mental health and wellbeing. What do they mean to you?

Taryn Ozorio
Posted on 24/01/2011

How do stress and anxiety affect me?

Working in the police service is a job where you may often feel like you are under a lot of pressure, and it's natural to feel stressed or anxious. But if you regularly become overwhelmed by these feelings, this could start to seriously affect your health.

Our research shows:

  • 91% of police have experienced stress and poor mental health at work, but you are less likely to take time off work as a result compared to the general workforce.
  • You are also more than twice as likely to identify problems at work as the main cause of your mental health problems compared to the general workplace.

What are the causes of stress and anxiety?

You might be affected by stress and anxiety because of work, or because of factors outside of work, like family, relationships or financial concerns. There might be one big thing causing you stress and anxiety, or it could be a build-up of small challenges. This might make it harder for you to identify exactly what's affecting you.

And if you’re feeling stress or anxiety in one area of your life, this can impact other areas too – so you might find that problems in your relationship are causing you to be less engaged at work; or difficulties at work are affecting the way you behave with friends and family.

You try and compartmentalise everything you do – you go to nasty jobs and you try and leave it behind. But you’ve got your own stresses on top of that, your own mental health – it makes the job extremely hard, and sometimes too hard to do.

This information was published in July 2015. We will revise it in 2018.

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