The Business in the Community ‘Leading on Mental Wellbeing’ report that was issued earlier this year, highlighted that mental health conditions present a significant challenge to business and society. Across 2014-15, 9.9 million working days were lost to employees experiencing stress, depression and anxiety (1).
Secondsight, the employee benefits specialist, has joined forces with Minding Your Business, which focuses on mental health issues in the workplace, to launch Mental ealth First Aid (MHFA) courses.
Whilst this particular two-day course has been tailored for HR and wellbeing directors, it is internationally recognised and can be used in any environment, to suit any audience. It is designed to provide attendees with comprehensive knowledge of the signs and symptoms of mental ill-health, giving them the confidence to intervene and manage someone experiencing a problem.
MHFA is valuable in providing information on a range of mental health problems, along with reducing stigma and encouraging early intervention. The course is not intended to train people to become therapists, but to provide the non-expert with knowledge of the first signs and symptoms of a range of mental health problems, and the confidence to intervene when a problem is observed.
Morag Livingston, group risk and healthcare manager at Secondsight, said:
“A large number of employers are not sure how to handle conditions relating to stress, anxiety or depression in their staff, and – as a result – fail to provide the right levels of support.
“At Secondsight we encourage our clients to intervene early on where possible, to reduce or eliminate potential issues, and the amount of time an employee is required to take off. Mental Health First Aid can, and should, form part of this early intervention programme, and we’re delighted to have joined forces with Minding Your Business – real specialists in mental health issues in the workplace.”
Jane Cattermole, service manager, at Minding Your Business, added: “I am pleased that the issue of mental health in the workplace has risen up the news agenda – I truly believe it should be given an equal focus to physical First Aid programmes.
“Our MHFA courses are designed to pre-empt issues, prevent mental health problems becoming more serious, promote recovery, provide support to the employee, raise awareness of mental health problems in the community and workplace, reduce the stigma and preserve life where a person may be in danger.”
Those attending the course will receive Mental Health First Aider status along with a comprehensive resource manual, and access to the line manager’s resource.
The next course Secondsight and Minding Your Business are running is on 11 and 20 October, and there will be a further one in February 2017 – date tbc. There is a reactively small cost to attend. For further details, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) Health and Safety Executive, Work related Stress, Anxiety and Depression
statistics in Great Britain (2015).