Stress Management Training for Police Forces in Slovenia
The anti-stress program for police officers was introduced in the Slovenian Police Force in 1998 as a part of the prevention model for psychological care. The program participants ranked it, in their evaluation, among the top three out of 80 programs offered in the Slovenian Police Force.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs also conducted an evaluation of the program’s effectiveness (Višnikar and Meško, 2002 ; Višnikar and Turk, 2008 ). Its conclusions were that the program:
• Improved ability of the staff to handle stressful situations at work
• Brought harmony to work and personal life
• Taught the importance of staying calm, relaxed, and focused
• Improved inter-staff relations
The study evaluated the adequacy of the contents, the performance, and the applicability of the program for the work of police officers by using special questionnaires. Based on very favourable evaluation results the authors concluded that the anti-stress training is a more than acceptable component of psycho-hygienic activity in the Slovenian Police Force and would be applicable in other security agencies as well. The European Health Protection Agency included this case in its database of good practices.
More than 690 police staff members have completed the program so far, which is offered on a continuous basis.