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  • Writer's pictureFarah Benis

Breaking the Cycle of Stress and Burnout in the Security Industry: A Call for Action

Studies have shown that security officers face a range of occupational stressors that can negatively impact their mental well-being, including long working and anti-social hours, demanding workloads, and exposure to traumatic incidents.

According to a study by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the regulator for the private security industry in the UK, over a third of security officers reported high levels of stress, with a similar number reporting feelings of anxiety and depression. In addition, the study found that security guards often feel undervalued, and their job is not well understood by the public.

Another issue is the lack of support for mental health in the security industry. Many security officers do not have access to the support and resources needed to manage their mental health, such as training on dealing with stress and trauma or access to counselling services. This can result in security officers experiencing mental health problems in isolation and without proper care, which can exacerbate their symptoms and lead to long-term difficulties.

One of the key factors contributing to the issues with mental health in the security industry is the prioritisation of profits over people by some companies. In order to cut costs, some companies may push their security teams to work long hours with little time off, pay them low wages, or provide inadequate training or support. These factors can all contribute to high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression among security officers.

Additionally, many companies do not invest in mental health resources for their employees, such as counselling services, employee assistance programs, or mental health training for managers. This lack of investment can make it more difficult for security officers to manage the demands of their job and can also result in a culture that stigmatises mental health and discourages workers from seeking help.

The consequences of prioritising profits over people can be severe, not just for the security officers themselves but also for the companies they work with. High-stress levels and burnout among security officers can lead to increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, and higher turnover rates. It can also have long-term consequences for the mental health and well-being of security officers and for the wider community as well.

So what next?

It's important for companies to recognise the value of investing in the mental health and well-being of their teams. This can involve creating supportive work environments, offering mental health resources, and advocating for better conditions and support for workers in the security industry. Ultimately, creating a positive workplace culture that prioritises the well-being of workers will benefit everyone involved.

These issues with mental health in the security industry are not unique to the UK and are seen in many other countries as well. Addressing these challenges will require a coordinated effort by employers, regulatory bodies, and the government to ensure that security officers have access to the support and resources they need to maintain their mental well-being.


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