With the first anniversary of the initial COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown rapidly approaching, guarding specialist Magenta Security has been increasing its investment in mental health support for colleagues across the business.
“Like so many other key workers, security professionals are on the front line, keeping people safe,” stated Magenta Security’s managing director Abbey Petkar. “Again, like others they are at risk from COVID or indeed other illnesses and even physical attack. They’re also at risk emotionally and psychologically.”
According to Petkar (pictured below), the national and international press and other industry sectors have been regularly highlighting the mental health challenges faced by so many at the moment. However, as an industry, Petkar feels the security sector is doing very little to raise awareness of – and garner support for – security’s hard working and under-pressure workforce.
Petkar pointed out: “Mental health issues affect us all, from the parents struggling to home school their children through to furloughed workers, the unemployed and the front line key workers, the majority of whom haven’t seen their friends for months. Statistically speaking, the majority of the security workforce is male and, sadly, very few people realise that young to middle aged men are among the most vulnerable when it comes to suicide risk. We must all do what we can to protect our workforce, not just from the obvious like the virus, but also the silent dangers.”
Magenta Security is working closely with its entire workforce to ensure ongoing mental health support for its team members, their families and any of the communities with whom they work.
A key part of that process involves gathering advice and thoughts from highly respected sources and sharing them through a variety of channels. The business has focused on mental and physical health advice, offering five top tips for individuals keen to look after their mental health during the ongoing lockdown:
(1) Keep regular contact with friends and family. Social isolation is known to be detrimental to mental health and the personal sense of identity. Schedule video calls with the people you would usually see in person to help you lift your spirits and share your feelings
(2) Minimise engagement with the news if it’s making you feel anxious. Schedule set times to check for updates and take practical steps to protect yourself and your loved ones rather than worry about what you cannot change
(3) Provide help to your loved ones, neighbours or the local community. Helping people can keep you busy, give you a sense of purpose and connect you to others. Check-in on friends via digital platforms, host an online class or offer services to vulnerable people
(4) Maintain your schedule as much as possible. Without our usual cues, it’s easy to slip into bad habits such as sleeping late or skipping meals. Set and stick to times for sleeping, eating, working, exercise and leisure (5) Be kind to yourself and accept failings. This is a difficult time for everyone, and you should not expect yourself to be as happy and productive as you normally would be. Forgive yourself when you don’t feel that you’ve lived up to your usual standards