HSE Says: “Mental Health Should Be Part of First Aid Needs Assessments”

The HSE has issued guidance to urge employers to consider the mental health needs of their workforce. It is suggesting that as part of an ‘employers first aid needs assessment’ an employer should consider having a staff member trained to identify mental health issues so they are able to support someone who might be experiencing a mental health issue.

We couldn’t agree more. According to a October 2017 report from Deloitte, the facts about workplace mental health are shocking:

Mental Health in the UK Workplace Facts

  • Poor mental health costs UK employers £33bn–£42bn each year.
  • 7.7% of all sickness absence is mental health related and is increasing each year
  • For adults over the age of 16, roughly 1 in 6 people met the criteria for a common mental disorder in 2014
  • The average ROI (return on investment) of workplace mental health interventions is 4.2:1, by reducing absence and increasing employee engagement.

It is now recommended that employers consider ways to support good mental health in the workplace, such as:

  • Providing information or training for managers and employees,
  • Employing occupational health professionals,
  • Appointing mental health trained first aiders
  • Implementing employee support programmes.

One of the most cost-effective ways to improve mental health in the workplace is to train team members in mental health first aid.

Mental health first aid courses teach delegates how to recognise warning signs of mental ill-health and help them to develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping themselves safe.

Take a look at our 2-day Mental Health First Aid course which meets the requirement for the new HSE guidance:

  • Trainers are official Scottish Mental Health First Aid trainers, and have a background working in mental health in the community, with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • The course uses interactive and fun activities to engage participants and support learning.
  • The course does not train people to be mental health workers. It offers basic general information about mental health problems. The knowledge presented and understanding developed in the course helps to remove stigma and fear and to give confidence in approaching a person in distress.
  • Mental Health First Aid is an initial response to distress and all participants on the course understand that this help is given only until other suitable or professional help can be found.

See further information on managing workplace stress and mental health issues from the HSE