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Mental Health First Aid Training: 3 Benefits for Your Organisation

What is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training?

You are probably familiar with first aid training. But, what is MHFA training?

MHFA was developed in Australia and is now delivered in many countries. MHFA training helps you recognize signs of mental ill health, so that you can encourage a person who is showing these signs to seek help. In addition, one of the aims of MHFA training is to reduce stigma.

Organisational Benefits

1. Good for Employees and Good For Business. The majority of people who are mentally ill do not receive treatment. They do not always seek help for various reasons, including fear of discrimination and stigma, which are powerful deterrents. In addition, they may not recognize they have a mental illness. According to recent research carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, over two fifths of employers have seen an increase in workers reporting conditions such as depression or anxiety. Mental illness can affect the way employees think, feel and behave, as well as organisational productivity e.g. due to sickness absence and presenteeism.

You may be managing or working with someone who is affected by mental illness. If you do not recognize the signs of mental illness, you may not deal appropriately with that person. MHFA training can help you identify or notice signs of mental ill health. You can then provide information and encourage the person experiencing problems to seek help. Not only will appropriate help benefit the individual, any resultant reductions in sickness absences and presenteeism benefit your organisation.

2. Create a Psychological Healthy Workplace. There are various components to health, and mental health is one (often neglected) component. Mental health awareness is a key part of a psychologically healthy workplace. A healthy workplace, which recognises the importance of employees’ mental health as well as physical health, is also a productive workplace. MHFA training can form part of the framework of a psychological healthy workplace.

3. Improve Workplace Culture

All employees should be treated fairly and with respect, including employees who are mentally ill. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty discussing mental health in the workplace.This may lead to inadvertent insensitive behaviour towards employees who are experiencing mental health problems.

MHFA training can improve mental health awareness and help foster a workplace culture where mental health issues can be discussed in an open and sensitive manner.

Yvette Hoskings-James

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