21-23 Aug 2024
ICC, Sydney

How Can Security Help Save Lives?

May 23, 2014

John Bigelow (Editor in Chief, Interactive Media Solutions)

Depression in the community is a serious issue. Every year, thousands of people struggle with this extremely serious condition, with far too many succumbing to feelings of complete hopelessness resulting in their eventual suicide. Tragically, according to the experts, almost all of these suicides could have been prevented.

What many people don’t realize, myself included, is that there are many types of depression ranging from the loss of a loved one to severe clinical issues. However, one of the most common types of depression, and apparently, one of the most overlooked and misdiagnosed, is what some experts refer to as ‘situational depression’. This type of depression arises as a result of ones circumstances such as joblessness, often resulting in an inability to meet financial commitments which is accompanied by a sense of worthlessness. Apparently, this type of depression is very common in men over the age of forty who have lost their job through circumstances beyond their control such as redundancy, and who are subsequently unable to find new work.


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Apparently, this condition appears to be more prevalent in men as they often see their job and their ability to earn an income as a direct reflection of the their worth. Many men in this age group still subscribe to the stereotypical view of being the “bread winner” and when they lose their income, lose their ability to support their family, lose their savings and possibly even their house, it is easy to see how one might end up suffering from a lack of self esteem, extreme stress and feelings of depression.

However, on the upside, experts state that this is one of the easiest forms of depression to treat. Often, getting these men back into the work force, helping them find purpose once again and regaining some financial stability can often bring about a complete turn around in their mental health – which brings me to my point.

I often speak with security company owners and managers who, almost unanimously, state that one of their greatest challenges is finding good staff. Perhaps it is possible to address the issues of finding good staff by working with government employment agencies to get some of these men back into the workforce, thus killing two birds with one stone.

Many of the men who fall into the group that I have highlighted, men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, would often not look to the security industry for re-employment as they do not see beyond the image of ‘bouncers’.  Furthermore, the cost of a security license can be a significant barrier to entry preventing many of these men from obtaining a security license. However, we are talking about a pool of experienced, often hard-working men who would value the opportunity to get back on their feet. So I put the question to those people who own and run security companies around the country – how might the industry help reintegrate some of these men back into the work force? How can the government help? I would welcome the discussion. I would like to participate in the debate and I would encourage everyone to give the issue some though.

Victoria in particular has experienced a significant number of redundancies in the last twelve months across a range of industries such as the automotive industry, manufacturing and so on. Wouldn’t it be great if the security industry could tap into this pool of willing workers to not only address the industry’s own labour issues, but also help provide meaningful employment to people who desperately need help to reestablish their self esteem, mental health and financial stability. Lets get the discussion started. Where can the industry begin?

To see John speak at the Security 2014 Seminar program register now for your free expo ticket and purchase seminar tickets here.

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