The Benefits of Mental Health First Aid Training

Benefits in Everyday Life

In the UK, one in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year. 50% of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14 and two thirds by the age of 24.

This confirms that family and the home environment plays a huge role in the development of mental health issues. This also tells us that families and young people, are the most important parts of society we need to address mental health and wellbeing with.

Suicide happens to be the biggest killer of men under 45, along with the fact that men between 40 -50yrs old have the highest suicide rates in the UK. The construction industry which also happens to be male dominated, has the highest rate of suicide of any profession in the UK. Around 3 construction workers complete suicide each week.

Teenage female suicides are the highest ever on record. Mental health issues in children and young people with cases of self-harm and eating disorders are sky rocketing. Shockingly, children as young as 8yrs old have completed suicide here in the UK, prior to, and since COVID19 took hold.

As 2021 moves on and the UK starts to open up, we will be presented with the statistics on what happened to the nation during lockdown. With everything that has happened, it is very likely that a lot of us will be coming out of this lockdown with lower levels of wellbeing and mental health, along with some undiagnosed mental health conditions.

Mental Health First Aid courses, gives the everyday person the skills to help address the gaping void between someone becoming unwell and getting the help they need. People tend to ignore their mental health as it’s not something we can see, such as being overweight or having an injury. We like to just get on with it. A lot of people can go for decades this way, have a breakdown or worse before they get help.

People dealing with mental health in this way, are not only unfair to themselves but also to those around them. People who do this expect other people to do the same and just get on with it. Unfortunately, we all work differently, with different levels of coping and resilience. This can then bring on feelings of guilt in a person who may be struggling and only adds to the stigma surrounding mental health. This is not just unacceptable, it’s also not fair!

Mental Health First Aid Courses are training programs that trains the everyday person to help someone developing or experiencing a mental health problem. It trains a person on how to have a supportive conversation and how to signpost to professional help.

Most importantly, it also trains people how to look after their own mental health and wellbeing.

So it is quite clear to see the benefits of doing a mental health first aid course, it is an invaluable resource for everyday life. The training will help you to prevent another person’s mental health from deteriorating, teach you to look after yours and ultimately it can save a life.

benefits of mental health first aid training

Benefits in the Workplace

As we proceed with 2021, a lot of us will be going back to places of work or will remain working from home. Both has its own set of mental health challenges that need to be addressed. There is now a mountain of evidence directly linking how a mentally-healthy workforce impacts the organisation’s bottom line, growth, and culture.

There is no need to push that agenda, organisations either get it or they don’t!

The decision to prioritise workplace mental health and how to nurture it has already been made for us here in the UK, simply by the data available

Poor mental health carries an economic and social cost of £105 billion a year in England and £10.8 billion a year in Scotland. Around 595,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression, or anxiety.

239,000 workers suffered from a new case of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety and 15.4 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety

Working days lost due to stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 57% of all working days lost due to ill health. The main cause of work-related stress, depression or anxiety was due to people’s ‘workload’, accounting for 44% of all cases

Believe it or not these statistics are all prior to COVID19!

What that means is that we had been working with an already mentally broken workforce  in the UK, prior to the lockdown. The data makes that quite clear. Now factor in the lockdown and everything else we all have been through as human beings over the lockdown period. So we can be certain of one thing, the mental health of the UK workforce will not be in any better place than before!

Now, should we all just get vaccinated and get back to work like nothing has happened? Would that even be humanely possible? Wishful thinking perhaps? completely out of touch? or just very naive!?

We are now presented with the most critical decision we will make in a generation for employers. What we decide will determine not only the length of time it will take the UK to get back on its feet, but also how we work as a nation for generations to come. We have an opportunity to make a huge change for the better, and it starts with the human being!

How we address workplace mental health and wellbeing will be the deciding factor of where we will be in the next decade. The decisions we make now will personally, professionally, financially, and economically determine the UK’s next decade.

Any organisation undertaking mental health first aid training will be fully complying with the many pieces of legislation surrounding workplace health to avoid legal action being taken against them. They will benefit from reduced absence and staff turnover, enhance their reputation, improve teamwork and productivity and establish morale at high levels.

 This will in turn make that organisation more attractive to new job talent, (a positive mental health culture becoming a priority for many). It will create a culture to engage with the thinking of millennials and incoming workforce of Gen Z’s, who will more than likely avoid any organisation who do not put their wellbeing first.

 The benefits of mental health first aid training in the workplace is that, it can help an organisation to create a framework for wellbeing alongside their employees. Creating a culture of inclusivity where both people and profit flourish. This is important because soon you will not be able to have one without the other.

 This then future proofs an organisation, via sustainability and a culture that sets a benchmark for corporate social responsibility for that organisation.  

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