Four Smith Brothers staff members recently underwent training to become mental health first aiders after partaking in a course ran by Mental Health First Aid, England (MHFA).
Today, one in four people suffer from a mental health related issue in the workplace, yet the subject is still taboo in many businesses; with just 16% of employees feeling they can openly discuss a mental health issue with their employer.
Like a physical first aider, our MHFA’s are available to offer crucial initial support to employees and can help guide them towards further support if needed.
Identifying a mental health illness
Mental health illness refers to a wide range of recognised mental health conditions that affect your mood, thinking and behaviour.
Many people have mental health concerns from time to time, but a mental health concern becomes an illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. This can leave you feeling miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at work or in relationships.
Mental Health First Aid England
MHFA provide in-house training and consultancy to organisations of all shapes and sizes. Through working with over 20,000 employers, MHFA know that each organisation’s culture is unique, and the key to maintaining a mentally healthy workplace is understanding the people within it.
MHFA offer a range of evidence-based face to face and digital learning, from awareness raising to skill development. Their courses are designed to empower people to notice signs of mental ill health, and encourage them to break down barriers, listen in a non-judgemental way, and signpost to support for recovery.
What did our staff learn on the course?
The MHFA course, helped our staff members to:
- Understand mental health and the factors that can affect positive wellbeing
- Spot the signs and triggers of a range of mental health issues
- Have the confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress
- Enhance interpersonal skills
- Have the knowledge to aid someone and guide them towards further support, whether that be self-help resources, internal support such as an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), or external sources
- Implement and carry out a mental health first aid action plan
Why did they attend the course?
Stephen Godwin, health and safety manager said “Unlike a physical injury, mental ill health can be hidden, ignored or simply not recognised. The MHFA course has given us the tools and training to offer initial help within the workplace. All employees will have access to the support of a MHFA.”
SBS firmly believe in preserving positive self-wellbeing in the workplace and hope that the introduction of MHFAs will encourage staff members to speak out should they be suffering in silence.
Meet our Mental Health First Aiders