On being mindful, emotionally aware, and more resilient: longitudinal pilot study of police recruits
Police officers are at particular risk of stress when compared to people in other occupational groups. A compounding factor is that police are prone to the use of avoidant coping strategies when attempting to deal with this stress. Evidence suggests that “anti-avoidance” strategies, of acceptance, mindfulness and emotional awareness, are more effective ways of coping, and are linked to both mental health and personal effectiveness. This study followed 60 trainee police officers from the recruit phase into the workplace to determine if these processes predicted more positive mental health and wellbeing in police recruits after 1 year of service. Mindfulness predicted depression at follow-up, while emotion identification skill predicted general mental health. These results suggest that police officers and police organisations may benefit from interventions aimed at developing and promoting mindfulness and emotion identification.