Mental health is often swept aside and closeted rather than openly discussed. Therefore, many people who suffer from mild or severe mental illness do not get the help they need. Mental health issues can cause a lot of problems for security specialists for both those suffering and when having to handle high-risk situations.
What Does Mental Health Mean?
Mental health refers to a person’s ability to reason effectively, maintain emotional control, and think cognitively. Despite the rise in mental health issues, many sufferers do not get the help they need because of stigma. Some of the emotional effects of mental health issues include:
- Feelings of isolation
- Lack of motivation
Mental health issues also cause severe physical ailments such as:
- Chest pain
- Stomach issues
- Excessive tiredness
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbances
Someone suffering from an untreated or undiagnosed mental illness could behave erratically. Some of the dangers are:
- Lashing out in anger
- Drug or alcohol use
- Over or under-eating
- Risky behavior
- Threatening behavior
Mental Health Issues on the Job
Security personnel is highly trained to watch out for dangers and prevent damaging situations. However, when someone with a mental health issue is involved, it can complicate things. Rational human beings behave in specific ways. Someone suffering from a serious mental health problem may be unpredictable and more dangerous.
Professional security specialists are trained to spot certain behaviors that may indicate a mental health concern and how to respond effectively. However, these types of situations can be highly charged and stressful. The work of constantly protecting people, places, and things can put a lot of pressure on even the strongest security officers and they too can suffer from mental health concerns.
Mental Health and Physical Security
Stress from working in physical security can be exacerbated by an underlying mental illness. The extreme danger and heightened emotions could also cause security personnel to feel mentally unwell. It’s critical to get help immediately if you feel like you are suffering from PTSD or another type of mental health issue.
Security clearances are not dependent on mental health screening if the security personnel is getting help. Security officers may have difficulty responding quickly or appropriately to an emergency without proper mental health support. In addition, there is an elevated risk of suicide for people with mental illness who work in stressful situations.
Preoccupation with personal suffering, regardless of physical or emotional symptoms, could affect security personnel in different ways, but it may make them less effective at their jobs. Some may be prone to taking unnecessary risks; others may be timid and non-reactive when they need to respond quickly to a security threat.
Stress from security work combined with personal issues could result in a dangerous cocktail of mental unwellness. Everyone at one time or another needs support. It’s critical for security personnel to get immediate help if they do not feel their best so they can effectively do their jobs and keep everything secure.
DMAC Security supports mental health wellbeing with all our security officers, partners, and employees.