Why Every Workplace Needs a Mental Health First Aider

Imagine this scenario: an employee has fallen and broken their leg. What would happen in your organisation?

Obviously, the company would fulfil their legal and moral obligation, to treat the injury with a first aider until appropriate medical intervention is available; allowances would be made for the employee, taking into account the impact their injury will have upon their work and performance; recognition would be given to the fact that getting into work on a morning would be more of a challenge; as they would not able to competently complete some of their jobs due to their injury, changes to work would need to be made.

Now imagine that in this scenario, the employee has not broken their leg, but is suffering from a mental health condition. Their condition is not visible, but its implications on their performance at work will be just as significant.

Would you know what to do if a member of your team needed support with a mental health condition?

How would you respond to an anxiety attack, for example?

If you yourself had a mental health condition, would you know what support was available or who to turn to in your workplace?

These are the kinds of questions employers need to be asking themselves. Mental health is a hot topic and it’s not surprising when 1 in 4 adults will be diagnosed with a mental health condition this year.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) raises awareness and increases understanding of mental health conditions in the workplace. Over two days, delegates are trained in spotting signs and symptoms of common conditions, supporting someone with poor mental health and signposting appropriate help and support.

These ‘Wellbeing Champions’ can be from anywhere within your business and will be the ‘go to’ people for mental health support in your workplace. They will be joining a community of over 2.6 million MHFA-trained people in twenty-five countries around the world.

Currently, there is no legal obligation to provide MHFA in the workplace, but employers do have a duty to provide their employees with a safe working environment and must take reasonable care to prevent personal injury within the workplace. It is easy to see why many people believe that First Aid and Mental First Aid should be given equal importance in the place.

What impact can Mental Health First Aid have on my organisation?

The largest cause for staff absence is depression, stress and anxiety. Training Mental Health First Aiders increases awareness of signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, meaning they can be identified and tackled earlier. It also reduces the stigma around mental health in the workplace, meaning that people feel safer to seek help.

Where can I find more information?

Learn more about Mental Health First Aid and how it can help your business by contacting Resilient People on [email protected] or following us on Twitter @GetResilientUK to find out more about our open courses or on-site training delivery options.

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

Build your career resilience

How would you deal with career disruption? How resilient would you be to a change of direction? The author of this article proposes six steps for building your career resilience. These steps will help you deal with any unplanned career changes, whether that’s being laid off or experiencing a major life event which affects your career choices.

Be adaptable

Being open to change is important for career success. Some behaviours that help develop an open mindset include proactively learning new skills, believing in your ability to succeed and taking risks.

Use and apply your skills

After attending training, do you typically forget the new skills when you return to the workplace, or do you try to put the new skills you’ve learnt into practice? It takes grit to continuously practice and hone new skills to achieve a goal. The author cites work by Angela Duckworth, a Harvard University researcher who has identified ‘grit’ as one of the key traits that predicts success in life.

Build a strong network

The author points out that starting to build relationships when you’re unemployed is too late. She references a 2001 report by Monica Higgins and Kathy Kram who found a strong network needs quality and diversity. Quality is not just about building relationships with influential people; it’s also how good these relationship are. Diversity means having a wide-ranging network of people at different organisation levels and from different sectors to provide alternative perspectives. The author makes the point that networking isn’t just about adding connections on LinkedIn, but it’s about meaningful relationships where you also contribute ideas and provide support.

Maintain your health and balance

Looking after your own well-being during any major life transition or event needs to be your priority. You need to take time to rebuild your strength and your buoyancy. Changes can be unexpected and may be a result of a family event affecting your professional life. Don’t underestimate the need to focus on your health and the importance of addressing any negative self-talk.

Follow your instincts

The resilience literature highlights the importance of self-efficacy and self-perception to a person’s career success and their willingness to try new things. What does your instinct tell you is the right avenue for you at the current time and where you want to be in the future?

Control yourself

Angela Duckworth identified self-control as another predictor of success in life, alongside grit. Being able to regulate your behavioural and emotional impulses is vital, but needs to be paired with a determination to succeed in what you do. Overall, to be career resilient, we need to have self-discipline, take opportunities to develop, be mindful of the need to be adaptable, build a strong network and believe in our ability to weather the times when we get blown off course.

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

Building Resilience presentation for Leeds MIND

We are feeling honoured and excited to be delivering a presentation based on one of our sessions on Building Resilience today at the Civic Hall in Leeds for the Mental Health Charity MIND and Mindful Employer.

We hope that everyone who is attending the presentation enjoys it and finds what we have to share with you interesting.

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working