Exploring programmes to support police officials exposed to trauma

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    As a result of the critical nature of police officers' work, it is of utmost importance that they have direct access to support. The efficacy of the present trauma intervention programmes in the South African Police Service (SAPS) is questioned, because despite the implementation of trauma intervention programmes, police officials still present high levels of acute and behavioural problems. A literature overview of proposed international trauma intervention approaches concentrating on both the psychological, behavioural and social factors affecting police officers exposed to trauma, as well as those models implemented by SAPS are discussed. The objective of this article is to critically appraise existing trauma intervention approaches to better understand, compare and extrapolate key elements of these approaches, and to reconfigure them into a comprehensive holistic psychosocial therapeutic trauma intervention programme for use among the police in South Africa. It was found that the cognitive behavioural therapy model (CBT), prolonged exposure (PE) and the eco-systemic perspective, which was specifically developed for social work, dispose some of the best elements to be reconfigured into a holistic psycho-social trauma intervention programme.