Why good security is crucial for mental health facilities | Blog | Zaun Ltd
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Why good security is crucial for mental health facilities

Why good security is crucial for mental health facilities

22nd August 2017

Mental illness is on the rise; it currently makes up a third of all illnesses in the UK. In fact, one in four people is likely to experience it at some point in their life. While most of these can be readily treated at home, many people who suffer from more severe conditions may need to spend some time in a secure facility.

People who do need to spend time getting this kind of help are often a danger to themselves, and may require near-constant supervision. But accidents do happen, especially when resources are stretched, and sometimes high-risk patients are left alone. To prevent tragedy, adequate physical security on site is crucial. Therefore, it’s very important that hospitals and inpatient treatment centres have adequate mental health facility fencing.

Mental health treatment centres cater to a variety of conditions, from depression, Autism Spectrum Disorders and psychosis through to schizophrenia. Many patients are extremely vulnerable and need to be kept inside at all times to receive enough care. But mental health perimeter fencing has another important function: preventing those who may be withdrawing from drug or alcohol use from receiving contraband items that may harm their treatment.

According to the Department of Health’s 2011 guidelines, mental health fencing must have a ‘secure external perimeter.’ Welded mesh and woven mesh fencing is a really good option for these sorts of facilities as it can’t be easily scaled or destroyed with conventional hand-cutting tools.

There’s still a lot of stigma attached to mental health and mental health facilities: many people still picture scary fortresses with barbed wire, rather than state-of-the-art medical facilities. Moving forward with mental health care means making sure the outside reflects what’s going on inside. Aesthetically, this makes woven mesh fencing a good option. Often used for high-profile sports events, political conferences and summits, it’s neutral and modern, with pleasantly clean lines.

Of course, patients also have sensitive needs, and their privacy can be protected with additional aluminium sheeting on boundary fencing as well as to shield them from distractions beyond the hospital. Different areas may require different levels of security, with fencing ranging from 2.4m to over 5m to reflect that. Subtle concrete sills are also a good choice to add extra security.

If you’d like to discuss your fencing and security needs for your mental health facility, contact us at Zaun today.