According to the Centre for Mental Health, two-thirds of surveyed people will require help for existing mental health challenges that have been made worse by the pandemic.
Approximately 8.5 million adults will require support for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders and additional mental health problems in the future. Equivalent to 20% of the adult population
Since the introduction of the 1981 Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations, physical First Aid assistance in the workplace was a requirement.
Recent research suggests that approximately half of the population will experience a mental health issue in our current job. Therefore, it’s easy to see why the employers, the public, and mental health campaigners are now lobbying for mental health first aid to be given equal legislative status in the work environment.
MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) is the mental health equivalent of physical first aid for those who may not be so familiar. The concept originated in Australia, and in this country, MHFA England is the leading licensed provider of MHFA training. Mental Health First Aiders can spot the signs of mental ill-health and help provide early assistance for someone developing a mental health issue.
It’s important to state that those trained in MHFA aren’t necessarily counsellors or therapists; instead, they act as the first point of contact and offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.
MHFA England has been working to establish MHFA skills in communities, including schools, universities, the armed forces, and businesses.
More companies are slowly waking up to increasing mental health support in the workplace, with many already using MHFA England training as part of their strategies.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Employers have a ‘duty of care, which means they must do all they reasonably can to support their employees’ health, safety and wellbeing.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a developing and underlying mental health crisis in the country—every year, one in four adults experiencing mental illness.
Though talking about mental health has become much more common, and there’s more discussed in the media, including Simone Biles, the American gymnast, and Naomi Osaka, there can still be a real stigma in the workplace.
As a result, many employees don’t come forward until they’re unable to cope. Do you have any processes in place to recognise the early warning signs and react if a problem arises?
Training employees in Mental Health First Aid within your organisation inspires people to talk more openly about mental health problems, encouraging early detection, enabling recovery, decreasing stigma and creating a positive working culture and environment.
Therefore, the benefit of having an MHFA England qualified Mental Health First Aider in the workplace provides a vital contact for any employee experiencing a mental health issue.
This communication could vary from initial conversation to signposting somebody to get appropriate help in a crisis.
Everyone who completes the course gets:
- A certificate of attendance to say you are a Mental Health First Aider
- A manual to refer to whenever you need it
- A quick reference card for the Mental Health First Aid action plan
- A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support your mental health