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Mental health of diplomatic personnel: scoping review

Publication date: 

9 Mar 2023


Occupational Medicine, Volume 73, Issue 3, April 2023, Pages 155–160


Brooks SK, Patel D and Greenberg N

Publication type: 



Background Diplomatic personnel frequently relocate as part of their roles, requiring them to adapt to various cultural and political conditions; many are also at risk of experiencing trauma from being deployed to high-threat postings. With diplomatic personnel having to balance the usual pressures of their work with the uncertainties of COVID-19 in recent years, it is particularly important now to understand how to protect their mental health. Aims To synthesize existing literature on the well-being of diplomatic personnel to improve understanding of how to protect their mental health. Methods A scoping review was carried out to explore what is already known about the well-being of staff working in diplomatic roles. Four databases were searched and reference lists, as well as one key journal, were hand-searched. Results Fifteen relevant publications were included. There was little consensus as to how the psychological well-being of diplomatic personnel compares to other populations or which factors predict well-being. Diplomats’ psychological responses to traumatic experiences appeared similar to those of other trauma-exposed occupational groups. Conclusions Further research is needed to better understand the well-being of diplomatic personnel, particularly those not deployed to high-threat posts.