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Landscape Study of Application Software Products That Aim to Address the Mental Health Needs of Law Enforcement Officers

NCJ Number
304768
Date Published
Unknown
Annotation

This report presents the findings and methodology of a project that consolidated available information on law enforcement-specific mental health and wellness applications (apps), so law enforcement agencies can better understand the types of mental health apps available, their benefits, and limitations for law enforcement officers.

 

Abstract

 The study methodology involved a scan of relevant extant literature; consultation with experts, practitioners, and other key stakeholders; solicited market input for products; consolidated and synthesized information; and provided case examples. Based on the findings of these efforts, nine apps were identified for inclusion in this report. Although all relevant app vendors were identified for this publication, the report acknowledges that additional eligible application software that targets law enforcement mental health may exist. The study found that although mental-health apps are a novel delivery method that aggregated multiple existing mental health supports, few application software products are designed specifically to address the mental health needs of law enforcement personnel; however, these apps may assist officers by directing them to resources, such as trained therapists; however, the app itself does not diagnose or treat mental health conditions. Many of the mental health apps profiled in this report share common resources, such as self-help resources, access to peer support groups, links to mental health counselors, self-assessment, connections to national hotlines, and physical and financial wellness tools; however, the apps varied widely in price and price model. Further, no scientific evidence has demonstrated that this delivery method has positive results in a law enforcement context. Anonymous, aggregate data may be shared with agencies to help them understand how often the apps are being used and which resources within the apps receive the most visits. The use of apps as an “early warning system” provides an acceptable level of confidentiality that can ensure officer privacy concerns when using the app. Appended app profiles