News Article

Mental Health First Aid Officers Vital To Healthy Businesses image

Mental Health First Aid Officers Vital To Healthy Businesses

According to a 2017 report from the Centre for Mental Health, it’s an increasingly hot topic for business - in 2016 poor workplace mental health was estimated to cost the UK economy almost £40 billion.

So, it’s not surprising that more and more business are seeking to address the issue by providing Mental Health First Aid Officers in the workplace. Like traditional First Aid or Health & Safety Officers, Mental Health First Aiders have responsibility for preventing, identifying and supporting mental health issues amongst employees.

“We are seeing a large demand for our two day, certified Mental Health First Aid courses from businesses,” said Somerset Skills & Learning Manager, Dave West.

“The course covers a myriad of topics which enables an individual to really get to grips with a range of practical mental health support actions which make a real difference in the workplace if colleagues are suffering from mental health problems.

“The trained person will be able to identify the signs of someone who may be experiencing mental health issues and then put into action some practical support on the spot as well as signpost to professionals who can help,” he continued.

Mr West also stressed that a core part of the course was to learn how to be non-judgemental and objective in dealing with mental health in the workplace as there should be no stigma surround mental health.

One organisation keen to get mental health first aid into their business is Cornwall Council.

“As an Adult Education provider we’re seeing an increasing number of learners whose mental health is fragile and we feel that it is extremely important to provide key people in our organisation with skills not only to recognise the issues that impact on and relate to people’s mental health but also to be able to guide people to appropriate support.

“I learned about the Mental Health First Aid programme though the Mental Health First Aid website and was delighted to find that SS&L were able to provide the course for us.” explained Debbie Buckland, Quality Co-ordinator at Cornwall Council’s Adult Education Service.

According to mentalhealth.org.uk, good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%.

Somerset Skills & Learning in a leading education and Apprenticeship provider based in South West England. Mental Health First Aid courses are available to book online at sslcourses.co.uk.