Mental Health is finally being recognised as something that effects nearly all of us at some point in our lives – either directly or through someone that we know. Employers are also realising that mental health in the workplace is an issue worth paying attention to. It can effect employees in every area of business. Many are not aware that we offer a Mental Health First Aid Course to help deal with mental health issues that arise in any workplace.
What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid is an initial response to distress. All participants on our course understand that this help is given only until other suitable assistance or professional help can be found.
I would really like to have a Mental Health First Aid Course at my workplace, but would find it hard to justify the time and money that 2 days out of the office will cost.
Our Mental Health First Aid course is a 12 hour course, but that doesnt mean that it has to be two 6 hour days. It has no time limit so no refresher courses have ever been developed or needed. Anyone can repeat the course if they wish as things do change, but the basic approach is the same. The changes tend to be with the information around the illnesses and not the First Aid approach.
We do recieve requests to have a shorter course, but the reality is that there is no real short cut to dealing with this subject. Mental Health First AId is not like physical first aid, it involves tackling subjects that people have a real fear of. Also, even though perceptions are changing, there is still a stigma about mental health and a vast amount of misinformation. These barriers need to be gently removed to allow delegates to see the person – not the illness and to understand what is going on.
Course candidates then need practice to become comfortable with dealing with mentally distressed people. That can’t be done in a short space of time. Time is the one commodity we never have enough of, but ironically it is the main thing the course delegates need as well as the people they will be helping.
Making the financial case
If your business manager or Finance Director needs financial reasons to run the course here are some reasons that may help justify the outlay.
- 12.5 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17. If we can prevent people developing depression or get in early enough to stop the severity, the number of lost days will fall considerably.
- One suicide costs on average £1.5million. If you stop one suicide by performing mental health first aid, that’s a huge saving to society
- According to the Safety and Health Practitioner, “in the workplace, mental health issues can have a serious impact on both the morale of employees, those suffering from mental health issues and their colleagues who then pick up the additional workload”
- The Centre for Mental Health says that the financial cost to British business of mental ill-health is an estimated £26 billion per annum, but positive steps to improve the management of mental health in the workplace can enable employers to save at least 30% of the cost of lost production and staff turnover.
All for the cost of sending someone on a two day workshop, why would you not do the whole course?!
Businesses should have the same number of Mental Health First Aiders as First Aiders. Having managers also go through the course is a fantastic commitment to staff and gives them a very valuable life skill.
Courses are run for as little as £1500 plus VAT and expenses. That will cover 24 delegates. That’s £62.50 per head. When you put that cost against how much is lost to mental health/stress on a yearly basis, you see that such an investment could save a lot of money, as well as assisting in creating a happy and productive work force.
To find out more about our Mental Health First Aid Course click here.