Police peer support programs: Current knowledge and practice

Peggy Grauwiler, Briana Barocas, Linda G. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This review examines the current empirical research and literature on peer assistance programs, peer support, and peer-facilitated interventions for police officers. A literature search was conducted to identify studies on police, peer support, and peer assistance programs. Studies were examined in terms of the following criteria: description of data collection methods, findings, study limitations, implications for police, workplace assistance, and peer support. Articles on peer support in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center rescue and recovery efforts were also reviewed. The research studies reviewed in this article do not evaluate peer program effectiveness from the perspective of those officers receiving peer services. To better serve this invaluable population, efforts must be made to incorporate their views. Information is also needed on the effectiveness of peer assistance programs and peer-driven crisis intervention models. Finally, research is needed that specifically examines the effectiveness of programs that utilize trained peers in partnership with professional mental health practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Crisis intervention
  • Emergency mental health
  • Peer assistance
  • Peer support
  • Police
  • Program evaluation
  • Social support
  • Training
  • Trauma stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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