PeoplePhysical Security

Exclusive: Let’s talk about mental health in the security industry

mental health

Mental health was, and to a large part still is, not talked about, or at least not talked about enough.

According to research carried out in June 2020 by Mind, the mental health charity:

  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England.
  • 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England.
  • 1 in 5 people have suicidal thoughts
  • 1 in 14 people self-harm
  • 1 in 15 people attempt suicide

In September, figures from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) showed that, in 2019, male suicide rates in England and Wales have reached a 20 year high and there were 5,691 suicides registered, c.11 deaths per 100,000 of the population.

As background, IFPO (The International Foundation for Protection Officers) has been around for over 30 years and has members in 68 countries, although the UK presence has been, until recently, relatively limited. Our main aim is to promote education and career development within frontline security officers, supervisors and managers, over 100,000 people have studied our certificate and certification programs including the globally recognised Certified Protection Officer (CPO). This is important work and whilst improving skills, education and careers of frontline security officers is vital, we cannot neglect their wellbeing.

10 October was International Mental Health Day and at IFPO UK, whilst we felt it essential that we at least draw attention to the day, our Advisory Board decided that there was more we could do to promote mental health charities and resources. Additionally, some members of the AB wanted to share their personal stories and challenges and full credit to them for showing great leadership and stepping up and doing this. 

In the run up to the day, we used our social media platforms to share resources and promote charities (often the smaller ones) who do great work supporting people who need it.

Personally, I am an Ambassador for PTSD Resolution, a veterans’ mental health charity. I have been associated with them for around ten years and have been an Ambassador for around three years. I have met many of their clients whose lives have been turned around and often saved (by preventing suicides) through the work of their counsellors.

The response we have received (judging by post views, likes, shares and comments received) has been overwhelming and we hope that some individuals found the posts and information shared of some use.

For more information on joining IFPO UK and taking part in our Educational Programs, please visit www.ifpo.uk or email hello@ifpo.uk.

Mental health charities

You may find these links useful:

CALM, www.thecalmzone.net , 0800 585 858

PTSD Resolution http://www.ptsdresolution.org , 0300 302 0551

Strongmen www.strongmen.org.uk

Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk 

Mind, www.mind.org.uk , 0300 123 3393

Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org , 0800 068 41 41

Samaritans, www.samaritans.org  , 116 123

Movember, www.uk.movember.com

There are other charities and resources on the NHS site.  www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines

mental health
Mike Hurst

By Mike Hurst, Director, IFPO UK