​The Importance of Mental Health First Aiders

28 days ago by Gillian Williamson
Mental Health First Aiders 0624

As we announce our two newly trained Mental Health First Aiders we reflect on the importance of having Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in the workplace.

In today’s world, mental health has emerged as a critical area of concern for employers and employees alike. While many organisations have taken significant steps to promote physical health and safety, the importance of mental health often remains underemphasised. This is where MHFA play a crucial role.

What Are Mental Health First Aiders?

Mental Health First Aiders are trained individuals within the workplace who can identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health issues. They provide initial support and guidance to their colleagues, much like a physical first aider would in a medical emergency. Their presence ensures that employees have immediate access to someone who can offer help and support when they need it most and provide links to other resources such as our company Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

It’s not just the right thing to do…

Investing in mental health is not just the right thing to do—it’s a smart business strategy. According to the Mental Health Foundation,

for every £1 spent on mental health interventions, employers get back £5 in reduced absenteeism, presenteeism, and staff turnover.

This makes a compelling case for the implementation of Mental Health First Aiders as part of your wider commitment to wellbeing.

Enhancing Productivity and Reducing Absenteeism

Mental health issues are a leading cause of absenteeism and reduced productivity in the workplace. The Mental Health Foundation reports that mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide. By providing immediate support and resources through Mental Health First Aiders, organisations can help employees manage their mental health more effectively, leading to lower absenteeism rates and higher overall productivity. When employees feel supported, they are more engaged and motivated, contributing positively to the organisation’s success.

Building Resilience and Well-being

Mental Health First Aiders also play a key role in promoting mental health awareness and resilience-building activities. They can organise workshops, webinars, and wellness programmes that equip employees with the tools and strategies to manage stress and maintain their mental health. This proactive approach not only helps in preventing mental health issues but also fosters a resilient and healthy workforce.

Promoting a Supportive Work Environment

Having Mental Health First Aiders fosters a culture of empathy and openness. It sends a strong message to employees that their

mental well-being is valued and taken as seriously as their physical health.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. When employees feel supported, they are more likely to discuss their mental health challenges openly, leading to early intervention and better outcomes.

Having a proactive wellbeing approach within your organisation can significantly reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues, and other less visible issues, therefore encouraging a more inclusive and supportive workplace environment where people feel comfortable to be themselves at work.

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