As society has become more aware and accepting of mental health issues, the security monitoring industry is no different. The care and concern of monitoring staff should be of utmost importance to company leadership. Today, we as a society are seeing more violent and traumatic events play out that affect ourselves and those around us in different ways. Some people become desensitized to it, while others are affected more dramatically and can go down a dark and depressing path. It is important to have a plan for mental health issues as part of your company’s overall employee wellness strategy.
This issue has been a concern for many years now; however, it has rarely been adequately addressed for whatever reason — be it the stigma of mental health concerns, cost, or simply a lack of knowledge of how to approach the issue. Security monitoring providers, particularly those that have a focus on remote video monitoring services, should follow the “not if, but when” philosophy. What that means is that at some point, an operator or agent will witness a traumatic event that may affect their mental well-being. With video being a visual medium, something an operator sees and may consider themselves a part of can have a severe impact on their mental state.
Security monitoring companies need to be ready for such events and have a plan in place to address the welfare of employees affected by trauma related to the workplace.
- Have a separate, quiet room or area that the employee can retreat to immediately following a traumatic event.
- Never leave the employee alone. Always have someone on staff with some level of professional training to at least monitor their well-being and provide some level of initial comfort.
- Depersonalize the situation for them. Make sure they know the outcome was not their fault.
- Have an arrangement with an organization or individual to provide outsourced therapy after the fact, whether short or long term.
As the global pandemic has dramatically changed the state of the world today, it has also changed the global workplace. As such, having a wellness and mental health plan for employees, in many cases, must now consider remote employees that may be working from home. It is vital to have an extension of your plan that you can apply to those remote employees who may experience a traumatic event while their family, including young children, are in the next room.
- Have a person designated to place an immediate phone call (within 1 hour) to that employee to triage the situation and offer support.
- Make a determination of what assistance, if any, the employee requires. It is important to be confident they will not make a mistake on the next event because they are in a vulnerable state.
- Have an arrangement with an organization or individual to provide outsourced therapy, either in-person or virtually, after the fact.
Having a well-rounded employee wellness plan should always include a mental health component, particularly related to employees experiencing a traumatic event. Communicating that plan to your employees and implementing it when needed shows them that you truly about their well-being and ensures that you do not lose good people.