Pathways to suicide among police in Rajasthan: perceptions and experiences of police personnel

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Background: Evidence regarding the experience and perceptions of police personnel with suicide in South Asia is limited. This study explored the lived experiences and perceptions of su-icide among police personnel in an Indian state. The focus was on explanations of and reasons for suicide. Methods: We conducted 20 qualitative interviews in 2021 with police of different ranks, guided by a topic guide. The reflexive thematic analysis approach was supported by the use of NVivo 12, a qualitative software package. Results: We explore three intersecting key themes around suicide in the police force, including: (1) the stressful police environment; (2) expectations of mental strength; and (3) police image and help-seeking. We discuss the tensions between these themes and how to address the challenges of supporting police personnel. Conclusion: To support and improve police personnel’s mental well-being training and support are needed but also broader changes at the organisational level. These need to take social and historical factors into account. An increased level of suicide and mental health literacy will not only benefit the police force but also the general public, and it would be very timely with recent changes in the Indian mental health and suicide policy context.

Keywords

  • Police suicide, police service, India, organisatinal factors, occupational factors
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
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