Mental Health: First Aid in the Workplace

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Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

What does first aid in the workplace really mean? We take a look at mental health and how it can benefit construction workers.

Full article with thanks to: walesfirstaid.com/health-and-safety/mental-health-first-aid-in-the-workplace

Mental Health First Aid Training – One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point. While mental health problems are common, most are mild, tend to be short-term and are normally successfully treated, with medication, by a GP. Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems. They are often a reaction to a difficult life event, such as bereavement, but can also be caused by work-related issues.

Mental Health First Aid – to date over 15,000 organisations across the country have already trained staff in MHFA England courses but that figure could rise substantially if the HSE’s updated guidance is adopted by employers. According to the regulator, 15.4 million working days are lost due to mental ill-health every year, and with its updated guidance, there’s now a need for employers across all sectors to understand how Mental Health First Aid training should be implemented in the workplace.

One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime.

Mental Health is about how we think, feel and behave. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems. They are often a reaction to a difficult life event, such as bereavement, but can also be caused by work-related issues.

Mental health First Aid in the Workplace – How healthy is your workplace now?

Understanding where you are on the journey will inform your strategy or approach and how you communicate it to the organisation. If you are new to talking about mental health in the workplace, we recommend you gradually introduce the topic to the organisation, sensitising and raising awareness, before rolling out MHFA England courses.

Create a wellbeing strategy that centres around the whole person and promote this to staff. Mental health is one element of wellbeing alongside others such as physical, financial and emotional wellbeing, which are all connected in a whole-person approach. The Thriving at Work report sets out six ‘mental health core standards’ – a set of actions for employers to support mental health. You can use these to build the mental health element of your wellbeing strategy:

  1. Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  2. Developmental health awareness among employees
  3. Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling
  4. Provide your employees with good working conditions
  5. Promote effective people management
  6. Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

Recruit your Mental Health First Aiders

How many Mental Health First Aiders do you need?

Legislation for Mental Health First Aid provision in the workplace is not yet in place.

The Health and Safety Executive says:

“You should consider ways to manage mental ill health in your workplace which are appropriate for your business, such as providing information or training for managers and employees, employing occupational health professionals, appointing mental health trained first aiders and implementing employee support programmes.”

To demonstrate that your organisation views mental health as equally important to physical health, we recommend that you consider your organisation structure and the demands on the workforce. For some organisations it may be worthwhile aiming to have as many Mental Health First Aiders as physical first aiders.

For multi-site organisations it is important that there is always a Mental Health First Aider available to support employees at each location.

Many organisations begin by piloting Mental Health First Aiders in one area of the business to establish what works for them before rolling it out more widely.

For further information on Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace:

Download the new MHFA guidance for employers Implementing Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace or visit MHFA England website.

Mental Health First Aid – What is your strategy?

Full article with thanks to: walesfirstaid.com/health-and-safety/mental-health-first-aid-in-the-workplace

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