It’s time to start taking mental health seriously in the security sector.

Last year was a complete rollercoaster due to the covid-19 pandemic which meant that mental health in the UK has deteriorated and has now become what some are calling a national crisis. Mental health has been the topic splashed across mainstream media several times last year and already numerous times in 2021. Security operatives in the UK are now more than ever having to deal with the mental health struggles of the general public as well as potentially dealing with their mental health struggles due to the highly emotive job that they do.

New research suggests that security operatives in the UK are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder commonly known as PTSD due to being frequently exposed to verbal abuse and sometimes physical abuse. The University of Portsmouth has released results of one of the largest studies to date on the mental health of security operatives. The study found that 40%of the 750 operatives interviewed were showing symptoms of PTSD.

Professor Mark Button, Professor of Criminology in the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth released this statement “With almost 40 percent of those surveyed exhibiting symptoms of PTSD, it leaves a very clear message that the issue of mental health is not currently being taken seriously by security managers. There is an emerging picture of a failure by the security industry to address these issues.”

Security Operatives in the UK play a huge role in ensuring public safety whether that be in shopping centres, patrolling public streets, or transport services. They act as a safety deterrent for the general public and are trained to diffuse dangerous situations. They play a huge role in making sure we are all safer, therefore large companies must start taking the mental health impact from what is a very challenging role more seriously and start offering additional mental health training and more mental health resources such as counselling for those operatives already suffering.