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.
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