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Why Every Business Needs a Mental Health First Aider

Workplace Wellbeing

According to the mental health charity Mind UK, one in six people in England say they suffer common mental health issues each week, including anxiety and depression. It’s not just individuals’ personal lives that are affected, with one in almost seven people saying they suffer mental health problems at work, according to the Mental Health Foundation.

The Impact of Mental Health on Businesses

With mental health issues a clear issue among the workforce, it’s important for companies to take a holistic approach to its people. Making employee wellbeing a priority demonstrates that a workforce is genuinely valued, making people happier at work, more loyal and increasingly productive.

The Mental Health Foundation even found that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions, yet that providing better mental health support at work can save UK businesses as much as £8 billion a year.

The impact of mental health is something we’re becoming more aware of, but it’s still something many people are worried to talk about, or don’t know what support is available.

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Mental Health First Aid

In response to increasing mental health problems, Mental Health First Aid has become something more businesses are introducing into the workplace. Mental Health First Aiders are trained to identify mental health issues and help people in the most appropriate way. Recognising the warning signs of mental ill health and supporting people experiencing mental health issues are all part of the remit of Mental Health First Aiders. People in this role can often stop a crisis from happening, or prevent mental health problems from escalating.

Mental Health First Aiders are trained on a two-day course run by Mental Health First Aid England (MFHA England). The course is globally accredited and once trained, Mental Health First Aiders go back to their workplace and assume a role of looking out for their colleagues’ mental wellbeing, much in the same way as other first aiders are on-hand to deal with physical ailments.

In particular, Mental Health First Aiders are trained on how to help with many aspects of mental health, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidal crisis, psychosis and other clinical mental health disorders. Importantly, Mental Health First Aiders are taught how to refer individuals to gain specialist support too, which could include anything from support groups to accessing therapy via a GP.

Mental health is a real and prominent problem across society and employing staff brings with it a duty of care to support the wellbeing of people in all regards. Helping staff with their mental wellbeing makes workplaces happy and comfortable environments for employees, while leading to greater business success through loyal and healthy teams.

Find out more about how we can help incorporate Mental Health First Aid into your workplace. Enquire here.