• Lynn Smith

Why do I need a Mental Health First Aider?


You need a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) so that your organisation can adequately assess a team member’s mental ill health and promote wellbeing, not just their physical health.


MHFA is also the best preventative measure in a business’s toolbox. Why? Because creating a culture, training line managers, and nurturing an environment that is clear about everything from job roles to the importance of exercise, can prevent triggers for mental ill health or aid a faster recovery.


That’s why QHSE, HR, and People & Culture professionals are placing people on the MHFA course.


1 in 4 people suffer from mental ill health. MHFA

We all have mental ill health at some time in our lives – with one in four people suffering each year – someone you can see right now might be suffering in silence.


Unfortunately, there has been a stigma attached to mental ill health – so often people don’t know who to ask for help or are fearful of any consequences. 75% of people who have mental ill health do not receive support.


Businesses lose 72 million working days due to mental ill health annually, which can average out at £1300 per employee, according to MHFA England.


Appointing an #MHFA provides a clear point of contact that someone who is suffering from mental ill health can safely approach. A trained MHFA knows how to spot the signs of mental ill health, how to encourage mental wellbeing at work and provide internal and external support when required.



Does #HSE recommend a Mental Health First Aider?


HSE now recommends that businesses consider mental health when carrying out an assessment in the workplace.


“Following your employers’ first aid needs assessment; you might decide that it will be beneficial to have personnel trained to identify and understand symptoms and able to support someone who might be experiencing a mental health issue.


“You should consider ways to manage mental ill health in your workplace which are appropriate for your business, such as providing information or training for managers and employees, employing occupational health professionals, appointing mental health trained first aiders and implementing employee support programmes.


“First aid training courses covering mental health, 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.” HSE




What are the benefits of training an MHFA?


Mental Health First Aid training courses help to:


  • Build employees’ confidence to have open conversations around mental health and break the stigma.

  • Encourage people to access support early when needed, for a faster recovery.

  • Empower people with a long-term mental health issue or disability to thrive at work.

  • Promote a mentally healthy environment, stopping preventable issues and allowing people to thrive and become more productive.

  • Embed a long-term positive culture across the whole organisation, where employees recognise their mental and physical health are supported as equal parts of the whole person.


Is an adult MHFA course expensive?


No, a course is usually £200 per person, and you if you have a large number of members of staff to be trained, you can save further by hosting the course in-house.


What can I expect on an Adult MHFA course?


MHFA courses differ dependant on whether you take a half-day, one-day, or two-day course, but they will all teach you how to:


· Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis

· Listen and communicate non-judgementally

· Give support and information

· Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help

· Encourage other supports



Are MHFA courses accredited? Do I get a certificate?


Yes, the MHFA courses are taught by licensed MHFA England instructors who are accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health.


You will receive a certificate for completing the course along with course material to refer to when needed. The MHFA also provide resources that can be used around the workplace to encourage mental wellbeing and identify the Mental Health First Aider to team members.


How do I learn more or book an MHFA course?


Stellar Mind provides MHFA training courses at open events in the Midlands and on-site within the workplace. You can find more information by clicking here or book directly here.

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