workplace mental health

Mental Health First Aid Course: Its Importance in the Workplace

The Heimlich manoeuvre and CPR may be familiar to you. When someone is experiencing a heart attack, choking or having trouble breathing, there are certain signs to look for.

But when a mental health crisis arises, how can you provide first aid?

This is where Mental Health First Aid and MHFA courses come into play. With one in six people aged 16 and older experiencing symptoms of a mental health problem, MHFA is incredibly valuable.

Think about it: every business must have a physical first aider on staff. Depending on the number of employees in your company and the level of risk at your workplace, you will need a certain number of first aiders. However, MHFAs are not legally mandated at work.

We all know that the importance of mental well-being can’t be overstated. A Mental Health First Aider course can help you become prepared to provide mental health assistance when needed.

Learn more about why workplace mental health first aid courses are important for businesses below.

Defining Mental Health First Aid

MHFA aims to help someone who is experiencing a mental health problem or whose mental health is deteriorating. First aid can be administered until professional treatment is received or the crisis has been resolved.

MHFA is helpful for people who are experiencing anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, substance use and gambling issues. In addition, it may help people who are going through a mental health crisis, including suicidal thoughts and behaviour, panic attacks, self-harm and trauma. Considering the prevalence of mental health problems, chances are that everyone knows someone who suffers from a mental problem, whether they are a loved one, an acquaintance or a co-worker.

Mental Health First Aid gives you the tools to assist someone who is experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis in the same way that CPR can help you assist someone who is experiencing a heart attack. MHFA eliminates the fear of talking about mental health by teaching people to identify and address problems safely and responsibly.

MHFA Courses

A Mental Health First Aid course teaches participants how to help others who are dealing with mental problems. It explains how to recognize mental health problems, provide initial support and refer individuals to peer groups, social services and self-help resources. Also covered in the course are factors to watch out for and symptoms of certain conditions, including anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It’s essential to note that MH First Aiders do not assume any professional role, which means that they are not licensed to provide therapy or diagnosis.

Importance of Workplace Mental Health Training

Getting mental health training benefits employees across a variety of sectors. A person who suffers from mental health disorders can appear healthy while hiding their suffering. Mental health first aid training facilitates people’s ability to recognize mental distress around them and within themselves. Here are a few advantages of including MHFA in your arsenal of workplace training courses.

Builds awareness

It is important to provide employees with mental health training to help them become more aware of what can benefit and harm their wellbeing, both in the workplace and at home.

Moreover, many people are unaware of mental health problems, how to handle them or how to get effective treatment. With MHFA courses, participants learn a five-step approach, which they can use to better support someone suffering from symptoms of a mental health problem or going through a mental health crisis.

Detects early warning signs

In the case of mental health conditions, early intervention is crucial, mainly because physical symptoms are absent. Our co-workers will likely notice these signs first, especially if we spend the majority of our time with them. An employee trained on mental health first aid is, however, more likely to notice and respond to warning signs than one who isn’t.

Reduces stigma

By implementing mental health training programs, organisations help normalise stress, depression and anxiety. The stigma on mental health can be reduced in organisations, thereby reducing the number of employees suffering in silence. Having the confidence to discuss wellbeing at work reduces the likelihood of employees withdrawing or becoming disengaged.
MHFA courses can also lessen the stigma about seeking help. Educating employees about the benefits of seeking help and motivating them to do so increases their likelihood of seeking help in times of distress.

Provides strategies for dealing with stress

Despite the fact we can’t always avoid everything that can affect our mental health, an MHFA course can help individuals cope with stress. By learning the right strategies, employees can know ways to reduce stress, and enhancing personal and professional wellbeing.

Improves performance and productivity

Depression, anxiety and stress can be distracting and overwhelming. A mental health problem affects an employee’s ability to function normally at work. Furthermore, many people are understandably tempted to reduce their stress by overindulging in unhealthy foods or using substances. As a result, their job performance will suffer, which in turn can negatively impact the company’s morale and bottom line.

MHFA courses provide team members with tools to manage root stressors and maintain their well-being. As part of the training program, employees learn how to manage their mental health on a day-to-day basis, thereby ensuring their productivity and engagement at work.

Provides an environment conducive to open dialogue

When employees learn together in a group setting and share their vulnerabilities, they gain a better understanding of their colleagues. In turn, this can promote workplace openness.

MHFA courses also enhance company culture. By providing MHFA training to employees, you show them you care about their wellbeing.

A mental health training program can also assist managers in building team resilience and identifying factors that contribute to or hinder wellbeing.

Invest in Your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing with MHFA Training

Looking for courses on MHFA in England? At EDP, we provide a variety of training programs to suit your organisation’s needs. Check out how EDP can help your organisation provide effective mental health first aid training to your employees.

Take an active role in your employees’ well-being and book MHFA courses with EDP. Contact our team of experts now.