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Community Ment Health J. 2011 Dec;47(6):742-51. doi: 10.1007/s10597-011-9384-y. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Development and validation of the Mental Health Attitude Survey for Police.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Center for Mental Health Services Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655-0002, USA.


Police officers often lack sufficient mental health training and knowledge of mental illness to manage the risks associated with emotionally disturbed person (EDP) encounters. Still, it is not clear how much mental health training police officers actually need and, to date, there are no measures for police departments to use to determine officer attitudes toward dealing with EDPs. This led to the development of the Mental Health Attitude Survey for Police (MHASP), a modification and compilation of previously developed and newly developed items, which can be used to measure the effectiveness of mental health crisis training curricula in improving police attitudes toward persons with mental illnesses. A sample of 412 police officers from a major city police department in the northeast anonymously completed the MHASP. The results provide good evidence that the MHASP is a reliable and initially validated measure of police attitudes toward persons with mental illnesses.

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