ORIGINAL PAPER
Lithuanian State Border Guard Service officers’ traumatic experiences and their psychological counselling needs and attitudes
 
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Department of Health Psychology, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
Submission date: 2019-08-23
Final revision date: 2019-09-26
Acceptance date: 2019-09-26
Online publication date: 2019-10-09
Publication date: 2019-10-09
 
Health Psychology Report 2019;7(3):183–190
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
State Border Guards (SBGs) are an under-researched group in law enforcement. Their role involves exposure to threats and actual traumatic events. This study is designed to assess the nature of SBGs’ traumatic experi-ences, their perceptions of their need for psychological counselling and their attitudes towards counselling.

Participants and procedure:
168 Lithuanian State Border Guard Service (SBGS) officers were surveyed, using the following tools: a modi-fied form of the Life Events Checklist (LEC), six questions to assess the need and attitudes towards psychologi-cal counselling, and socio-demographic variables.

Results:
72.6% of the sample reported direct exposure to at least one type of traumatic event, 73.2% reported indirect exposure, and 64.3% reported exposure to trauma at work during the previous 5 years. Those who experienced more different types of direct traumatic events are more inclined to feel uneasy if their colleagues knew about them needing psychological help, more willing to look for help outside of their current employer, more likely to think that their boss might fire them if their need for psychological help became known, and less likely to think that psychological help at work is easily accessible.

Conclusions:
SBGS officers with more extensive direct traumatic event exposure exhibit more negative attitudes towards psychological counselling than their less traumatized counterparts.

 
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