As PTSD Awareness Month draws to a close, we are keen to ensure the conversation about PTSD continues across our industry. Corps will continue to work with Combat Stress, SecurityMindsMatter and other leading experts to support you in your efforts to engage with mental health in your business.
To keep the conversation going, we thought an update online might be worthwhile to reference to, to continue to drive awareness in security.
What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental health issue that arises following – as can be taken from the name – a traumatic life experience. That experience can differ, it might be related to relationships, life events, from birth and (due to the nature of the work undertaken by security officers) work related.
In an industry where our colleagues can face mental and physical challenges and be first on scene in what can be traumatising events, it is not surprising that in research undertaken by Professor Mark Button, our guest at our recent event, 40% of the security officers who were part of the study showed signs of PTSD. You can find the full research here.
Over to the experts: For an easy to understand guide to PTSD, please visit the Mind website page here.
How to notice signs of PTSD in your colleagues
One of the biggest challenges when addressing mental health in security is our ability to understand what to look for in our colleagues. The upcoming release of the Mental Wellness Continuum will address this and provide a unique and effective way of delivering support in the field, in your offices or even in your personal lives.
But, in the short term we caught up with Lead Research Occupational Therapist from Combat Stress, Christie Alkin, to get her thoughts on how to identify if anyone you know may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
“Post traumatic stress disorder may present differently for different people, but the range of symptoms include avoidance of reminders of traumatic events, re-experiencing of the events including nightmares and flashbacks, hyperarousal which can be anger, hypervigilance, irritability, sometimes negative alterations in mood and thinking, emotional numbing, dissociation, emotional dysregulation, interpersonal difficulties or problems in relationships following witnessing single, or multiple traumatic events. Therefore, those who work in environments where this is more common may experience post traumatic stress disorder as a result.
If you notice a colleague being absent from work, isolating themselves more, presenting more tired than usual and perhaps changes in their mood and how they interact with people it may be worth asking how they are and if they’ve had any difficult events that they are struggling with. It can be difficult for people to talk about their mental health, or it may be that they do not realise that they are struggling but encourage them to talk about it and signpost them to their GP and line manager to get support where they may need it. It is not a weakness, it is the way the brain has tried to cope with seeing something threatening, but it can then impact on the person’s daily life, and they may need help to manage symptoms to regain some normality and get their quality of life back.”
Have a read of Combat Stress’, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, LIVING WITH PTSD report here – it has some eye opening statistics and further information on living with PTSD.
Find out more about how the industry is working together to tackle mental health in security, visit the SecurityMindsMatter website here.
To see the full MENTAL HEALTH: Security’s Invisible Enemy event video, head to the Corps Security LinkedIn Page here.
Joining the fight to break the stigma
If you would like to come onboard with us to fight the stigma around mental health in security, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact Chris Middleton on email@example.com.