First Aid for Mental Health Business

The price business pays for Mental Health

Mental health problems cost the UK’s economy at least £117.9 billion annually according to a new report published by the Mental Health Foundation and the London School of Economy and Political science (LSE).

In 2017, the UK government commissioned an independent review known as ‘Thriving in work’. The report was documented by Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer (Chief Executive of Mind) to review the role that employers can play to better support employees with their Mental Health to help them remain in and thrive through work.

Their report revealed that the UK was facing a mental health challenge at work that was much larger than expected.

They identified that not only was “there a big human cost of poor mental health at work” there was “also knock on impacts for society, the economy and Government” suggesting that employers were “losing billions of pounds because employers are less productive, less effective, or off sick”.

The report highlighted a vision, part of which was to equip workers with “the knowledge, tools and confidence, to understand and look after our own mental health and the mental health of those around us” and to dramatically reduce the proportion of people with a long term mental health condition who leave employment each year and ensure that all, who can, benefit from the positive impacts of good work”.

Your business and Mental Health

Now more than ever, we recognise how mental health impacts all aspects of our lives including physical health, along with our ability to function, perform and be productive.

A government Bill, to make mental health first-aid part of first-aid training requirements, has been formally introduced in the House of Commons with a second reading to be set. MP’s will debate the main principles of the Bill before it goes to the House of Lords.

The Bill makes a simple request: to make mental health first aid part of normal physical workplace first aid in workplaces across the country. In doing so, we may not only save lives but change lives too”. 

Dean Russell (Watford) (Con)

The Bill aims to make mental health first-aid law, to ensure that all workplaces have the right capacity to deal with people who may be going through difficulties. The proposal recommends that a designated First Aider in Mental Health is trained, to identify, understand and help work colleagues who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

Whilst this Bill makes its long and torturous journey through parliament, lives are being lost, and families are being engulfed in emotional guilt and grief. On a basic level, productivity in the workplace is affected and the nation’s physical health is suffering from the systemic impact of poor mental health, awareness, and management.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mental health issues are on the rise. Work and economic pressures, changes in working patterns, along with a host of other factors, have contributed to this increase in those experiencing reduced mental health symptoms.

Organisations such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC), recognises safeguarding as a key priority for those that use the services they regulate. 

The fundamental principles of safeguarding are that people and organisations make sure that wellbeing is promoted.

Behaviour breeds behaviour, so by starting from the top, the culture of change can filter throughout the organisation.”

Why it makes absolute sense to make mental health a priority within your organisation.

Least of all, for the profitability and productivity of your workforce, along with the far wider health of the community.

Whilst businesses are often focused on the ‘bottom line’, the benefits of providing support for mental wellness are much wider than the legal and financial implications.

Reduced productivity and absenteeism related to mental health, are measurable costs within an organisation. The stigma for those that suffer, is compounded by discrimination and the lack of compassion or understanding from managers and co-workers. This only forces the problems deeper underground does nothing to resolve the issues and ultimately increases costs to the business and its employees.

Recognising and implementing mental wellness strategies fosters a supportive and open company culture.

Management and team leaders can better understand the challenges for their colleagues and use this constructively to orchestrate a more resilient, engaged community.

Our First Aid for Mental Health courses

Our First Aid in Mental Health courses are designed to help employers provide a positive mental health culture within the workplace.

Training key members of staff in First Aid for Mental Health, will equip them with the skills and knowledge to take on the role and provide the initial support for others in the workplace.

Employers have a ‘duty of care’ which requires that their employees ‘health, safety, and wellbeing’ is supported.

The HSE guidance ‘First aid needs assessment’ refers to mental health in the workplace. Discrimination against those with mental health issues remains a problem, even though it affects so many people.

Under the Equality Act 2010, disability discrimination covers many mental health illnesses which qualify as disabilities. As such, the employer has to provide and make reasonable adjustments to accommodate their needs, this includes mental health conditions.

Even for those suffering from poor mental health issues that are not covered under the act, good practice would still indicate that support is provided.

Having first aiders for mental health in the workplace demonstrates a willingness to fulfil your legal obligations and more importantly, you are promoting a supportive workplace culture, that cares about your employee’s mental health and wellness in a non-judgemental, non- discriminatory, safe environment, where mental health can be talked about openly.

Choosing the First Aid for Mental Health course that’s right for your business

A first aid assessment will determine how many staff need to be deployed in the role. It will also determine what level they need to be qualified and we can help you with this.

Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health. Level 1 

This half-day qualification does not qualify the learner to take on the role of First Aider for Mental Health. It develops an awareness of mental health and considerers how to recognise and manage stress.

It is suitable for all employees, contracted workers, and for those that work remotely or from home.

First Aid for Mental Health. Level 2 

This 1-day qualification provides the knowledge to take on the role as a First Aider for Mental Health in the workplace. This is suitable for all employees, particularly in workplace environments where the risk of mental health is considered low to medium. 

Supervising First Aid for Mental Health. Level 3 

This 2-day qualification provides the knowledge to take on the role of First Aider for Mental Health in the workplace. It is ideally suited for all managers and team leaders who are in a supervisory role. It is also recommended for employees designated to take on the role where there is a higher risk of mental health in the workplace.