The Peer Support System by the Police of the Czech Republic
Research paper the Peer Support System by the Police of the Czech Republic deals with peer support as a kind of social support for the safety forces. Peer support means providing psychological support to policemen and employees who are in a complicated, psychologically challenging life situation. It consists of offering an interview, sharing feelings and problems, any specific help or information, or possibly providing psychological help. Its goal is to prevent the development of psychological difficulties for police officers and employees and to extend possibilities of psychological support. The research paper summarizes the basic sources of stress the cops face, and at the same time briefly introduces the specifics of the police culture that plays an important role in peer support. Further the Czech practice is described. The research was conducted through semi-structured interviews with nine peer support providers in the Central Bohemian Region, where the system of peer support was first introduced as a new way of psychological care for police officers. The analysis of interviews brought responses to research issues related to motivation of police officers to engage in the Peer Support System, perception of the position of the peer support within the police culture and skills acquired during initial training. Besides the topics of research questions, other important topics appeared such as confidentiality, limits of peer support, promotion, personality of the provider, etc. The results point to areas in the Peer Support System, whose elaboration and deepening can contribute to the successful establishment of a comprehensive system of the Peer Support System by the Police of the Czech Republic.
(Fulltext in Czech)
Keywordspeer support, social support, police
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