PuP Community: Performance under Pressure

Generator fund

Awarded: April 2022

Community Leads:

University of Bath: Rachel Arnold (PI), Lee Moore
University of Bristol: Peter Turnbull,
Cardiff University: Rob Honey
University of Exeter: Sam Vine

Project overview

This community will bring academic experts and external partners together through this and subsequent funding to deliver a step-change in police occupational stress research; produce world-leading, interdisciplinary research; apply collaboratively for grants; and begin tackling the negative effects of stress on police officers’ performance, health, and well-being.

Background

Occupational stress has been identified as a 21st century global health epidemic, given its links to 7 out of 10 leading causes of death. Stress can also have acute performance and productivity effects, and accounts for 37% of work-related ill-health, 45% of lost working days, and costs an estimated 10% of GNP. The HSE reports that jobs showing the highest stress are those required to perform under high-pressure. One example is policing, where operational and organizational stressors have been linked to high rates of various health problems (e.g., poor mental well-being, PTSD, suicide). In the Devon and Cornwall Police Constabulary specifically, 172,664 work hours were lost in the 12 months up to August 2020 due to work stress/mental health absence. Work stress encountered can, paradoxically, be the “kiss of death” or the “spice of life”; since successful adaptation can enable individuals and organizations to thrive. In view of the above context, the community aims to bring academic experts and external partners together through this and subsequent funding to deliver a step-change in police occupational stress research; produce world-leading, interdisciplinary research; apply collaboratively for grants; and begin tackling the negative effects of stress on police officers’ performance, health, and well-being.

Project summary

Overall aim of community: This community will bring academic experts and external partners together through this and subsequent funding to deliver a step-change in police occupational stress research; produce world-leading, interdisciplinary research; apply collaboratively for grants; and begin tackling the negative effects of stress on police officers’ performance, health, and well-being.

The pilot work conducted via this community funding will involve conducting a stress audit with two police constabularies. A stress audit helps identify which stressors have the strongest impact, and which individuals/groups are most at-risk. Furthermore, it can explore existing stress management interventions and discover individual needs and attitudes towards future interventions.

Community site (GW4 Portal)