Do You Need A Mental Health Check To Apply For An SIA Licence?

Written by Holly Savage

15th March 2023

Mental health is always important to consider when applying for or working in any job. But do you need a mental health check to apply for an SIA licence? We’ll be discussing this and more such as, can you be a security guard with mental illness, what you need to know about mental health in the security industry, and how guards cope with stress and pressure.

Do You Need A Mental Health Check To Apply For An SIA Licence?

When you are applying to become a security guard, the SIA themselves will do a wide range of background checks such as a criminal record check. And one check they may do is a well-being or mental health check. The SIA will conduct this check to see what type of person you are and to see if you will be suitable for the job.

Can You Work In Security With A History Of Mental Health?

When people are applying to become a security guard, one thing that they wonder is if they can be a security guard with mental illness. And yes, it is possible to work in security whilst having a history of mental health problems.

sia licence mental health

Can I Get An SIA Licence If I Have Been Detained Under The Mental Health Act?

 Yes, it is possible to acquire an SIA licence if you have previously been detained under the mental health act. If you have been detained in the last five years, then you will need to disclose this information to the SIA. However, if it has been more than five years since you were detained – you don’t need to tell the SIA.

Should Security Guards Get A Mental Health Check?

 Security guards often work in high-pressure situations, and they often hold a big responsibility to protect members of the public. So, it is important that people who become security guards have a level head and the right personality. The SIA will mainly do a well-being check to ensure that everyone they hire is suitable to work within security and that they won’t be a risk to the public.

security guard mental health

What Is Mental Health Like In The Security Industry?

Although being a security guard can often be a rewarding job it can also be a very lonely and stressful job at times. Some guards may have to deal with incidents of crimes, which may lead them to face physical or verbal abuse. Other security staff may spend long stretches of time by themselves in isolated areas. Most security officers will often work shifts at odd hours, which can lead to them having a bad sleeping pattern.

According to a recent study by the University of Portsmouth, more than 40% of security guards may suffer from symptoms of PTSD. While other guards may have symptoms of other mental health illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

Things You Need To Think About In Regards To Mental Health In The Security Industry

Whether you are applying to become a security guard, or if you have been working in the security industry for a long time there are many things you may need to think about in regard to your mental health. We have listed some important things you should think about and know before you begin your SIA application.

 1. Think About Your Own Mental Health

Before you even begin your application to become a security guard it is important that you do a little self-assessment of your own mental health. Consider how you are feeling every day to day. Do you feel like you can be consistently calm under pressure? Do you need medical or holistic help, such as therapy or trying out medication under the supervision of your doctor?

There will always be ups and downs in life, and it’s a simple fact that we can’t always feel one hundred per cent, but being a security guard often requires a level head and a knack for problem-solving. Security guarding is a mixed bag when it comes to experiences on the job. You could meet the friendliest people you could ever know – and you could also meet an uglier, less reasonable side of the general public.

Making sure that you have a good understanding of your own mental health and knowing that you have all the right tools to cope with these pressures will make all the difference for a current security guard and any new recruits.

 2. When You Are Applying For An SIA Licence

When you are applying for a security guard licence, the SIA will often conduct a mental health check. And they may ask you some questions about your well-being and mental health. If you have been detained under the Mental Health Act in the past five years, you need to disclose this information.

Being sectioned, also known as being committed or becoming a formal patient, is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and this does not mean that you will not receive your licence. But you will have to be transparent with the SIA about this.

One way you can do this is by providing them with a report from the doctor or psychiatrist who has treated you during this time. Whilst you are an SIA licence holder, you may have to provide regular updates on your mental health, and this applies even if you don’t need treatment anymore. When you are renewing your licence, you may have to reclarify this information.

However, if you were detained more than five years ago, you do not have to disclose this information. Most mental health problems do not have to be brought to the attention of the SIA.

If you are unsure if you need to let the SIA know about your mental health – it’s always important that you double-check the SIA’s own code of conduct and guidelines before applying or re-applying for your licence. It’s also important that you aren’t afraid to ask for help, whether you have questions regarding your application or worries about your mental health.

The stigma of mental health can often make people feel afraid to disclose their mental health struggles in both personal and professional settings, but there will always be people out there who will listen.

3. Protect Your Mental Health

Security guards are sometimes thought of as being strong, tough, and sometimes unfeeling regardless of gender. But not taking care of yourself is a slippery slope. Keeping things inside with the aim of keeping up this work persona can do damage. It can also hinder your chances of continuing as a security guard in the future.

Many studies show that chronic stress can cause chronic diseases, and we all need time for healing off the clock. Accepting you need help is not a sign of weakness, and it is always important to ask for help when you need it.

Many guards in the security industry suffer or have suffered from mental health problems. So don’t think you can’t become a guard if you do suffer from anxiety or depression. When you are working in security, it’s always important that you put your mental health first; and if you are struggling or worrying about your mental health – it’s important that you get the help that you need.

do you need a mental health check to apply for an sia licence

How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure As A Security Guard?

As we mentioned above many guards within the security industry may face mental health issues. But how do security officers handle stress? Some of the best ways are:


  • When you are dealing with a stressful situation, remain professional.
  • If you feel like things are too much for you to handle, always ask for help.
  • Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Make sure to keep your work life and home life separate. It’s important that guards are able to relax in their own free time, so keeping these separate will help you detach from your own stresses at work.
  • Keep an eye on your own mental health – notice if your moods start changing.
  • Always communicate how you are feeling to your supervisor or human resources manager.
  • Make sure to take your breaks.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself.

So, Do You Need A Mental Health Check To Apply For An Sia Licence?

When you are renewing or applying for a security guard licence – the SIA themselves will conduct a mental health check to ensure you are suitable for the job. And many people who do have or had mental health problems have been able to become security guards.

If you’re interested in learning more about the latest SIA and security guard news, why not check out our blog? Where you can find articles about where security guards work and if you can become a guard with a criminal record.

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