Whilst people often know a lot about common physical health problems, ignorance of mental health is prevalent. Regular first aid courses are widespread, however most of these courses do not address helping with mental health problems
Surprisingly few Security Officers have the knowledge and skills to know how to deal with people in crisis. Security Officers encounter people with mental illnesses every day, whether they are perpetrators, victims, or witnesses of crime.
Surprisingly few Security Officers have the knowledge and skills to know how to deal with mentally ill people in crisis. In fact, less than 1% of Security Officers in New South Wales have had mental health training.
Most Security Officers are experienced in dealing with a range of difficult people and the management strategies they employ often work well.
The challenge they face when encountering a person in a mental health crisis, however, is that the person may be irrational and find it difficult to communicate their distress to the Security Officer.
This training will cover three main areas:
- understanding mental illness;
- identifying those with mental illness who may be in crisis;
- communicating and interacting with them in a non-violent way to reduce their distress and de-escalate them.
Most importantly, the training provides opportunities to develop and practice communication and de-escalation skills. On its own, training can help security officers better understand mental illness; they may also learn helpful skills for dealing with people who may be irrational.