Workplace wellbeing has been pushed into the spotlight over the last few years, not just as a result of the pandemic. There’s been a fantastic rise in the number of companies taking care of employee health. In particular, where physical and psychological health are equally valued.
Additionally, it’s common to see on company pages and job listings that mental health and wellbeing support is a big value to the company culture.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in the workplace provides practical skills and awareness training that are key components for a supportive, safe and healthy workplace. It gives Mental Health First Aiders the tools to support colleagues’ wellbeing; their own wellbeing and signpost useful resources when needed.
When selecting Mental Health First Aiders it is good to look across the organisation and to get a cross-section of people. When the whole organisation is involved in creating a supportive culture, everyone benefits. The attitudes and values will be cascaded from leaders and supported by policies and procedures that are easy to understand and practical to implement. It’s all our responsibility.
Why are Mental Health First Aiders Needed?
Despite the rise in awareness of workplace wellbeing and mental health as a whole; we still have much progress to make.
It’s all too common that poor mental health and workplace stress are related. The World Health Organisation recognises burnout as a health epidemic caused by long periods of “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” 1
In addition, most recently, in a 2020 report, it was found that:
“41% of employees experience mental health symptoms caused or worsened by work.” 2
Also, “30% of employees told no one about their mental health issues”. 2 A rise of 3% from the year before!
Mental Health First Aid training aims to close this gap of mental health openness and awareness in the workplace. MHFA is both a proactive and preventative approach. Providing a productive way for companies to invest in the wellbeing of their staff that reaps the benefits for everyone. It should also be noted that the role is only as good as the strategy that supports it.
The training equips MHFA volunteers with the tools, listening skills, support and signposted resources to support colleagues; similar to if they were physically first aid trained.
What are the benefits of Mental Health First Aiders?
Supporting people in the workplace with their health and wellbeing opens up the topic of mental health and helps to de-stigmatise the issues. A lack of training and knowledge can result in delayed support, accessibility and social pressures.
However, employees with supported workplace wellbeing are more likely to be productive, take fewer sick days, build good relationships with their colleagues; speak positively about mental health in a supported environment and be a valuable contribution to the team.
Above all, workplace mental health aid support creates a network in the company that also allows employees to talk openly and in confidence with their MHFA volunteers. In addition, it ensures that the right procedures are put in place as well as the right support given to those who need it.
Mental Health First Aiders will learn:
- A deeper understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect people’s wellbeing, including your own.
- The practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues.
- Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress.
- Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening.
- Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to appropriate support.
- All within the context of a coach, manager and/or HR professional.
Anne Archer Associates Mental Health First Aid Training
As we move out of the post-pandemic world, it’s now even more important to further support workplace mental health as also it is crucial to your team’s and business future.
If you’re interested in our upcoming mental health first aid courses, get in touch today!