According to the World Health Organization, up to 800.000 individuals commit suicide every year, especially among people aged 15-29 years. Thus, suicide represents a relevant problem that raises clinical, social, and philosophical issues. Among the various professional categories, police officers seem to be particularly at risk of suicide because of the frequent exposure to potentially traumatic events, exhausting shift work, as well as the organizational culture, which stigmatizes mental sufferance and does not promote talking about one’s vulnerability. In this systematic narrative review we analyzed findings of 24 studies published between 2003 and 2018. The main narrative themes were police suicide rates, stressors and their intra-psychic, behavioral, and relational consequences, as well as prevention and intervention programs. Of these 24 studies, only one focused on suicide in penitentiary police officers. For this reason, we deem it important to encourage research on this topic, which represents an important new avenue of investigation for future studies.
Keywords: Police, suicide, risk factors, intervention programs, prevention.