Why good security is crucial for mental health facilities

folder_openPrisons & Mental Health Units

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 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, hospitals and inpatient treatment centres must have adequate mental health facility fencing.

Mental health treatment centres cater to various conditions, from depression, Autism Spectrum Disorders and psychosis 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 perfect option for these facilities as they can’t be easily scaled or destroyed with conventional hand-cutting tools.

There are still many stigmas 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. However, moving forward with mental health care means ensuring the outside reflects what’s going on inside. Aesthetically, this makes woven mesh fencing a good option. It’s 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 and 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.

About Zaun

Zaun Limited is the sole remaining manufacturer of welded and woven mesh fencing systems that manufactures the entire system in the UK.  Zaun makes the mesh, fencing panels, posts, clamp bars and fixings at its state-of-the-art five-acre production facility in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.  Products have been tested and approved by testing organisations including CPNI, LPCB and Secured by Design.

Zaun works very closely with all stakeholders within the business including employees, local, national and international suppliers and a long-established customer base of fencing contractors to design, manufacture and supply high-quality fencing systems, increasingly often providing expertise in integrating PIDs and other systems into holistic security solutions.

Zaun was founded in 1996 and remains a private company solely owned by co-founder Alastair Henman with a regional office in Dubai. They are certified to the ISO 9001 quality standard. It is also a member of the Perimeter Security Suppliers’ Association (PSSA), of which Alastair Henman is a director.

Zaun is a proud British manufacturer and founder member of the Made in Britain campaign, a key player in the UK fencing market and one of the fastest-growing companies in an increasingly competitive industry.

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