Mental Health First Aid
In recent years there has been a call from all areas of society to change the way we view and deal with mental health issues. This is particularly relevant in the workplace. A report (Thriving at Work) has been commissioned by the UK government to assess the current state of mental health across the UK workforce. The findings of the report have been a wake up call for both employers and the government alike. Therefore it has now come to the attention of businesses that having staff trained in mental health first aid can have a positive impact on their organisation.
Mental Health Core Standards
What can be done to improve the current levels of mental health?
The review gives recommendations in the form of six core standards. The review believes that these core standards can be implemented quickly by all small, medium and large organisations across the UK.
Mental Health core standards
- Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan;
- Develop mental health awareness among employees;
- Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling;
- Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and the opportunities for development;
- Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors;
- Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing
But where to start? Ouch are now offering a wide range of training to support organisations in their implementation and monitoring of the core standards recommended by the review. Our training is delivered by an experienced and qualified ‘Mental Health First Aid (MHFA England)’ instructors.
The programme has been designed to provide an appropriate level of skills and information to allow individuals to carry out their role in the implementation of a mental health at work plan.
Please click on the above courses for more information on each one. You can also download our MHFA course information booklet here.
Download our Mental Health Poster – Facts & Figures for your workplace!
Download our Mental Health – 10 reasons poster for your workplace!
Download ‘An Ouch guide to looking after your mental health’ poster for your workplace!
Open courses are delivered in both Dorset and Manchester. Courses can also be delivered in-house nationwide.
What is Mental Health First Aid?
MHFA came to England in 2007 and was launched under the Department of Health: National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE) as part of a national approach to improving public mental health.
Mental health education empowers people to care for themselves and others by reducing stigma through understanding. Ouch hope to break down barriers to the support that people may need to stay well, recover, or manage their symptoms – to thrive in learning, work and life.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.
Furthermore, MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.
What do do now?
The structure and format of an organisations MH plan should be commensurate with the level of risk and resources available. Below is a brief overview of guidance for employers found in Annex A of the ‘Thriving at Work’ review.
|1) Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan||Allocate a person with the appropriate level of knowledge, skills and authority to oversee the mental health at work plan. The plan should outline the approach to improving and protecting all employees, including any awareness and training.|
|2) Develop mental health awareness amongst employees||Provide peer support (MH Champions), training and information for all employees.|
|3) Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling||MH awareness is a great way to encourage open conversations. Ensure procedures/systems are in place to support struggling employees. NB managers need to be aware of different MH conditions and how to provide immediate and ongoing support e.g. wellness action plans.|
|4) Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and the opportunities for development||Creating good working conditions for employees can help to prevent new MH problems and support those with existing conditions to get on in work and thrive.|
|5) Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors||Ensure all employees have a regular conversation about their health and wellbeing with their line manager. Ensure line managers are trained and supported to achieve their role effectively.|
|6) Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.||Ways of measuring staff wellbeing will vary depending on employer size. Typically it will include: Staff surveys and sickness absence monitoring.|