Mental Health First Aider Training: Everything You Need To Know

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mental health first aider training

Chances are you’ve got all the relevant first aid training in place at work. 

You’d be wholly irresponsible if you didn’t, and feel pretty bad about it, too! It’s almost unthinkable to put your employees at risk like that, isn’t it?

Well, guess what? You could be. 

Are you providing support for mental health first aid in your workplace? The concept began in Australia in 2000 and has since become global, and with 1 in 4 people suffering from their mental health, people in your employment may likely need support at some point.

What Is Mental Health First Aider Training?

Mental health is a leading cause of sickness absence in the UK and beyond. Mental health first aider training empowers individuals to identify the warning signs of mental ill health and offer critical first aid support.

With 38% of people saying they would feel too worried about talking openly about a mental health issue, according to a survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation, the role of mental health first aider training goes hand in hand with advocating for its importance and reducing stigma.

Envesca offers two accredited mental health first aider training courses:

Level 2 Understanding Mental Health in the Workplace

This 1-day course aims to educate candidates on common mental health illnesses such as stress, anxiety, depression, self-harming and suicide. 

When you undertake this course, you learn how to listen effectively to others and where and how to signpost for extra support in difficult times. 

Level 3 Mental Health First Aid In The Workplace

The objective of this 2-day course is to equip candidates with the knowledge to confidently identify signs of mental health problems in the workplace. Candidates completing this course officially qualify as Mental Health First Aiders. 

What Does Mental Health First Aid Training Include?

The Level 3, 2-day course providing comprehensive mental health first aider training covers a broad topic range, including:

  • An introduction to mental health and how ill mental health affects employers
  • The Mental Health Continuum
  • Recognising work-related stress and its impact on mental health 
  • The role of the Mental Health First Aider and how to promote a positive workplace culture
  • Legislation
  • Understanding common mental health concerns, from anxiety and psychosis to OCD and suicide
  • How to implement good mental health practices in the workplace.

What Does A Mental Health First Aider Do?

The lack of mental health literacy, defined as ‘knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders, which aid their recognition, management, or prevention’ (Churchill, 2018), is a problem in the workplace. 

The role of a mental health first aider involves reducing the stigma around mental health by advocating for it and the people it affects. 

Mental health first aider training prepares candidates to:

  • Act as a primary contact for anyone dealing with mental health concerns
  • Look out for signs of mental ill-health
  • Take appropriate action in the face of an issue or crisis
  • Direct individuals to further support if necessary
  • Support and signpost individuals in distress with compassion and empathy.

Mental health first aiders are appointed to help improve mental health in the workplace through open and honest conversations and building trust. However, it is really important to note that a mental health first aider should not give advice

A mental health first aid certification does not qualify a candidate to act as a therapist, psychiatrist or counsellor. 

Mental Health First Aider Training: Everything You Need To Know

Who Should Undertake Mental Health First Aid Training?

Spreading understanding about mental health is important worldwide, and the more people who undergo mental health first aider training, the better. 

If you’re wondering who in your workplace should get qualified as a mental health first aider, consider…

  • Company directors, if they work within the operating body of the business
  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Heads of departments
  • HR staff

Any employee who is in a position to know and oversee employees in some form, and who is therefore able to pick up on potential signs of mental ill-health, makes for the perfect candidate. 

Envesca offers a range of cost-effective mental health first aider training options, including in-house facilitation. Read more about our Level 3 offering here.

Mental Health Awareness Can Save Lives, Too

Bringing a gentle understanding of the impact mental health has on people and their work goes hand in hand with boosting your workplace culture.

Not only does mental health first aider training ensure you’re looking after your employees, but it bolsters your business offering, too. Got questions? Get in touch with Envesca today.

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