Security guards displaying PTSD symptoms during coronavirus

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Employers can now take a course to support security staff battling PTSD, after research revealed that almost 40% of security guards were displaying symptoms while working during the coronavirus lockdown.

Charity PTSD Resolution has launched an online interactive version of its trauma awareness training for employers to help employers recognise and support suffering staff.

The course is run by an experienced PTSD therapist and is designed for security line managers, counter-terror operatives, resilience planners and HR and employee development and training teams.

It is intended to help staff spot PTSD symptoms among security guards, know when to engage with them and when to signpost them to further support.

Almost two-thirds (65%) admitted to suffering verbal abuse at least once a month, while 43% reported threats of violence in the same period.

The course is delivered via two-hour Zoom webinars and employers will also be educated on treatment options for affected workers such as online therapy.

Organisations can book courses for individuals or staff groups. Staff under furlough are allowed to train without endangering payments to the employer, according to government guidelines.

Patrick Rea, campaign director at PTSD Resolution, said: “This is a tough time for security personnel and other key workers during the pandemic.

“They are having to deal with unfamiliar, challenging situations such as managing queues of people at retail outlets, with worries for their own safety from infection. Too often line managers just don’t have the skills to identify staff who may be struggling mentally - and why should they?

“It requires training to know what to look out for and what to do to help a traumatised person.”

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth interviewed 750 security personnel earlier this month.

Further reading:

Three lessons on mental health in the workplace

Supporting employees who have experienced trauma

How to break the cycle of stress and conflict in times of crisis

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