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Mental Status and Psychological Needs of Chinese Police Officers in a Highly Impacted City during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Xu Zhu1, Meng Xia1, Yingzhe Hu1, Lin Zhang1,*, Yun Lu2, Ying Zhang1, Xudong Guo1

1 School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province, Wuhan, 430079, China
2 Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

* Corresponding Author: Lin Zhang. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Psychological assistance for public during the pandemic of COVID-19)

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2020, 22(3), 149-157.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the mental status and psychological needs of police officers during the COVID-19 outbreak in China. The Anti-Pandemic Public Mental Status Scale and self-administered Psychological Needs Scale were administered online to police officers in Y city, a significant sub-central city of Hubei Province, where was affected by the pandemic the most seriously. A total of 5,467 valid questionnaires were collected, of which female police accounted for 17.7%. Compared with the national public and Y city public data previously measured using the Anti-Pandemic Public Mental Status Scale, this study found that 24.6% of the Y city police suffered maladaptive problems. The mental status of the national public was the best, followed by the Y city police. The mental status of the Y city public was the worst. Moreover, there was a significant interaction between gender and unit type of Y city police (p = 0.02). The mental status of female police working in prisons was worse than their male counterparts (p = 0.01). Furthermore, psychological needs survey results showed that the police most wanted to learn the topics of self-adjustment and family relations. The most desired psychological assistances were relaxation and stress reduction, while the percentage of willingness to choose psychological counseling was low. During the pandemic, some police officers showed obvious psychological symptoms and the mental health services could be provided according to their psychological needs.


Cite This Article

Zhu, X., Xia, M., Hu, Y., Zhang, L., Lu, Y. et al. (2020). Mental Status and Psychological Needs of Chinese Police Officers in a Highly Impacted City during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 22(3), 149–157.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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