Mental health first aid: how to improve your staff’s wellbeing

Coronavirus, eek! What has it done to our mental health and wellbeing?

Before the pandemic poor mental health was costing UK employers up to £45 billion a year. But lockdown has amplified the effect.

And now the government’s encouraging us to get back to our normal workplaces, it’s never been more important to look after your staff.

One way you can do this is with Mental Health First Aid training…

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid teaches you to spot signs and symptoms of mental ill-health. And to provide help on a first aid basis. By learning to recognise crucial warning signs of mental ill-health, first aiders can confidently guide people to support quickly and efficiently. Providing that all-essential early intervention.

What people need at this time is someone who can listen calmly to their feelings and fears without being judged. Someone to provide simple information and steer them towards appropriate help, as necessary.

Do you recognise this kind of question?

“But you’ve got everything going for you – good job, lovely family and a house to die for! Why are you depressed?”

Or this type of statement?

“Only last weekend you were jigging around on the dancefloor. You can’t be that anxious!”

And there’s the problem. Making assumptions.

But anyone could have a mental health issue whatever it looks like to you. No wonder no-one wants to admit to it. But some workplaces are changing this…

How do workplaces benefit from Mental Health First Aid training?

Many workplaces are reaping the benefits of Mental Health First Aid training. With first aiders on board employers have seen:

  • Culture changes: Staff are more comfortable reporting mental health issues as a reason for sickness absence. There’s less shame attached to the words ‘mental health’ and people are willing to share the truth.
  • Development of wellbeing programmes that work: Honest reporting of mental health issues has led to more accurate data acquisition. So organisations have been able target and develop their wellbeing programmes more strategically.

Which has led to:

  • Shorter sickness absences
  • Potential issues being picked up and addressed faster
  • People accessing support quickly with swifter, more positive recoveries afterwards

By training your people in Mental Health First Aid you can help your staff to thrive. And a happier workforce makes for a more productive environment.

But you do need to act now…

With the stats showing a marked increase in mental ill-health through April we all need to act now. Not just relying on the government and healthcare services. According to a recent survey 35% of people say employers should be doing more to support people’s mental health.

And Mental Health First Aid is a step in the right direction, where companies with trained first aiders have seen a steep rise in workplace wellbeing. So do consider training your people. And help your workforce to thrive. There’s more info here.

 

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By | 2020-05-20T08:37:03+00:00 May 18th, 2020|Mental health and wellbeing|0 Comments

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