Is the mental health of security personnel being taken seriously enough?

    Study finds 40% of interviewees showed signs of PTSD

      • Sector News
    • 14.12.20

    Thousands of security guards in the UK are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), having been exposed to frequent episodes of verbal and physical abuse, researchers at the University of Portsmouth have found. 

    Altogether 750 workers were interviewed as part of the largest study of its kind to date, with almost 40 % of those interviewed found to be showing symptoms of PTSD.  

    Professor Mark Button, Professor of Criminology in the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth, said: “With almost 40 % 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.”

    This shows a lack of provision by security companies for employee mental health and wellbeing services.

    According to the study: 

    ·       64.6 % of security guards suffered verbal abuse at least once a month (50 % of these were as regular as once a week)
    ·       43 % of respondents reported threats of violence at least once a month (10 % were getting threatened on a daily basis)
    ·       More than 30 % of those surveyed reported some kind of physical assault in the workplace once a year (almost 10 % reported a minor physical assault at least once a month)

    Portsmouth University: Security guards struggle with PTSD and lack mental health support

    Maybo perspective

    This research highlights the levels of violence security operatives can experience including physical assault. Such assaults can be traumatic for anyone, including the most experienced and apparently resilient operative.

    It is also important to recognise officers may have had prior trauma in their childhoods and/or prior occupations, such as the armed services.

    Maybo’s Trauma eLearning modules help operatives and supervisors better understand psychological trauma (including PTSD), the signs to watch for and how to respond in helpful ways https://elearning.maybo.co.uk/store/858515-understanding-trauma-and-trauma-informed-approaches-elearning

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