Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Huey, Laura


This study evaluates the implementation and subsequent operation of a peer support program in a Canadian police service. Data was collected from an online survey, available to the police service for a period of one year, and 16 in-depth interviews with peer support team members. There is very little data on police peer support programs in the literature. Thus, the purpose of the survey was to gain an understanding of what issues members believe a peer support program should address, the circumstances under which they would seek help from the peer support program, and the reasons they may or may not use the program. The interviews were conducted with a view to eliciting respondent views on program training, implementation, logistics, and issues of policy and practice. According to the literature, police peer support programs should work, in theory, based on the belief that police officers relate to and trust other officers more than they do outsiders. However, this study found that cultural issues involving trust, confidentiality and stigma attached to mental health, stand as potential barriers to the success of the program.