Published April 2022
Increasing societal awareness of the adverse impacts of mental health stressors on individuals has driven organizations of all types, including law enforcement agencies, to consider mental health as a facet of holistic occupational health. It is well documented that law enforcement officers frequently experience work-related stressors and high-stress traumatic events that can have serious adverse consequences for their mental health and overall wellness. Such deterioration in mental health, in turn, may subsequently lead to poor decision-making and performance. As such, law enforcement agencies have become increasingly interested in supporting the mental health needs of their officers to benefit individual well-being, enhance agency functioning, and improve law enforcement–public contact. Yet, despite the growing recognition that officers are at high risk for poor mental health due to occupational stress, many barriers prevent them from accessing and engaging mental health services, including the lack of available resources, the perceived inaccessibility of such resources, and stigma. In response, law enforcement agencies are increasingly relying on application software products, or “apps”—including those available as a native or a web-based app—to aggregate mental health resources for their officers in a confidential and easily accessible manner.
The objective of this report is to inform law enforcement stakeholders of mental health–focused apps that are currently available, what they offer their users, their limitations, and what should be considered in implementing them within law enforcement agencies. This study may also provide value to wellness coordinators, police foundation executive boards, unions, clinicians working with law enforcement agencies, and funding agencies. The report leverages interviews with agencies who are “early adopters” of mental health apps (who publicly acknowledge agency usage of these apps), feedback from the app developers, and the technical knowledge of mental health experts with experience in app testing and implementation. The report provides detailed product information from vendors that create apps specifically for law enforcement mental health needs, though this is not an exhaustive landscape study. The vendors featured in this document responded to CJTEC’s requests for information, and responses to the Federal Register Request for Information developed for this study demonstrates that this effort was methodical and exhaustive.