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The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in Businesses

woman listening to ladyAs an employer it is important to understand that the mental health and wellbeing of your employees is just as important as their physical health and safety. You have a duty not only to keep them physically safe but ensure their mental health isn’t being adversely affected and to provide support where necessary.

This has become particularly apparent this year with the physical restrictions and other issues caused by COVID-19. Working from home, used to protect them from the potential physical health issues that the disease brings have undoubtedly put a lot of pressure on their mental health and wellbeing as social interaction has been reduced leaving many feeling isolated and out of touch with their colleagues.

It isn’t just those working from home that have felt the pressure, with constantly changing working environments and processes, concern over job security and in some sectors considerably longer working hours many have been left feeling anxious and stressed and suffering from poor sleep patterns.

As mental health issues are highlighted by the media and there is an increasing acceptance to talk openly about our mental health both inside and outside of the workplace, businesses are seeing the benefits of training staff to be mental health first aiders, so that they have the skills and resources to spot individuals within their teams who are struggling before they reach crisis point.

What is Mental Health?

But what is mental health? Until recently talking about one’s mental health was a slightly taboo subject, and the term was used to imply that someone was ill.  But actually ‘mental health’ just defines our health mentally as opposed to physically.

Just as we can be fit and in good physical health, so too can we have a good mental health. Equally someone can have a broken arm which is a short-term physical issue, so too can we have days when we are particularly stressed or low when our mental health is not so good – but it doesn’t mean we are mentally ill.

Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace

Businesses are now recognising that having a few employees trained in mental health first aid (MHFA) is just as important as having fire marshals or a general first aider.

These individuals are trained to keep an eye out for any signs that colleagues are struggling, be available to listen compassionately to the issues they are having and have the resources in hand to point people in the right direction if they need further help.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Sureteam are now able to offer training by Mental Health First Aid England to train groups of your employees to be qualified mental health first aiders.

The course gives individuals:

  • an in-depth understanding of mental health and how it affects wellbeing
  • the skills to be able to spot the signs or triggers of those with mental health difficulties
  • the confidence to be able to approach and support a colleague
  • the resources to know where to point someone who needs further help, whether that is self-help or additional support

The training is very flexible and can be done via several webinars or take place over 2 days face-to-face, once restrictions are lifted.

What Does the Course Cover?

The MHFA Course is broken down into 4 modules.

The first module covers what mental health is and the impact of mental health issues.

The second module covers the link between alcohol and drugs on mental health, first aid for suicide crisis, the treatment and resources available for those with depression and the importance of self-care.

The third module covers issues linked with anxiety and traumatic events as well as personality disorders, eating disorders and self-harm.

The final module covers psychosis, schizophrenia, biopolar disorder, warning signs and first aid, treatment and resources for people with these mental states.

For more information about the course click here.

Help Support your Teams Wellbeing with Sureteam

The above shows how substantial the MHFA course is, but also demonstrates how informed and skilled your employees will be once trained and the valuable and life-changing support they will be able to offer colleagues.

If you’d like to discuss training a group of your employees please call our team on 01666 503686 or fill out our contact form and will get back to you.