Real Trouble: The Mental Health Impact of Workplace Bullying and Sexual Harassment Amongst First Responders
Jason Walker*, Andjelka Stones, Laura Stephenson
Sexual harassment and workplace bullying are not new conditions among first responders.These workplace conditions have significant, long-term, negative mental health impacts on the targeted employees. Multiple studies have identified a strong association between pervasive psychological disorders and being a target of sexual harassment and bullying. The literature shows that bullying amongst first responders is up to six times higher than the U.S. national average. This research examines 305 articles screened through Hermeneutic research methodology, netting 209 reviews in the results. The core themes that emerge support the theory that the phenomenon of sexual harassment, as a form of bullying, has severe implications for targeted people’s psychological health, including severe, pervasive, and deadly consequences for individuals and the general public. This research shows that the key factors around sexual harassment and workplace bullying in first responders’ employment include an organizational acceptance and tolerance for both unacceptable behavior and group-think mentality; a normalizing of toxic culture which creates the circumstances for incivility and adverse mental health outcomes for bullied targets within emergency service organizations.