An article published yesterday revealed that record numbers of Mental Health First Aiders are being trained to tackle mental health issues in Britain’s workplaces.
The Guardian reported that 140,000 people were trained in 2018-19, with almost half a million people now having been through an MHFA programme.
Incredibly, this is about one in every 100 adults.
The list of large companies that have embraced MHFA is impressive too, with Lloyds, EasyJet and Rolls Royce amongst the big names that between them have thousands of employees now trained in Mental Health First Aid.
One interviewee said the two-day course gave her the confidence to respond to distressed colleagues without saying the wrong thing.
“You listen without judgment, you give them information and support but you don’t give them advice,” she says.
“You encourage them to seek the appropriate professional help – mostly but not always about going to your GP – and encourage them to talk to family and friends.”
Another said: “The first thing you have to do is listen. Show some understanding, compassion, have patience, point them in the right direction of where they can get some support.”
The article also pointed out that MHFA alone isn’t enough to ensure wellbeing in an organisation. It should be part of a wider workplace wellbeing strategy.
However, it does play a big part in raising awareness of mental health in the workplace.
It can help break the stigma, allow anyone suffering to get the help they need, and flag up the causes of stress and other mental health issues to managers.
If you’re interested in Mental Health First Aid for your organisation, BounceBack are hosting courses in numerous venues around the UK.
To find one near to you, check our dedicated MFHA page.