Mental Health First Aid Officer Programme

Tackling Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

Does your workplace have a Mental Health First Aid Officer?

As part of our work as Scotland’s first social enterprise, tackling stress prevention and early intervention in the workplace, we strive to provide the best quality mental health first aid education.

In today’s stressful world, it is more important than ever that workplaces should promote good mental health amongst their employees, as it’s proven that this, alongside early intervention, can prevent mental illnesses, but it’s also important that people have the tools to support those around them with mental health issues.

To do this, we believe that every workplace needs ‘Mental Health Champions/Officers’… essentially, someone who can offer Mental Health First Aid support to their colleagues.

Furthermore, we think that organisations should view mental health first aid in the same manner as medical first aid and appoint the same number of Mental Health First Aid Officers as they would do Medical First Aid Officers.

Mental Health First Aid Officer
Mental Health First Aid Officer

What is a Mental Health First Aid Officer / Champion?

 

You might be wondering what a Mental Health First Aid Officer /Champion is or what their remit might cover? Here’s a brief guide…

A Mental Health First Aid Officer / Champion should be a trained and accredited Mental Health First Aid individual, who is appointed in their place of work and should provide, or assist in the provision of:

  • Mental health first aid in the workplace, in line with their training and competence
  • Dealing with any relevant mental health matters, in accordance with company procedures

Does an organisation need a Mental Health First Aid policy and what should it address?

At MHScot, we would now say that it’s as important to have a Mental Health First Aid policy in your organisation, as it is to have a Medical First Aid policy!

Here’s a checklist of the kind of things we think should be key to your policy:

  • Mental health problems should be understood and tackled without stigma

  • The workplace wellbeing of the individual should be paramount

  • Co-workers and colleagues should be trained to respond appropriately and effectively to people with mental health problems

  • Clear definitions of the role of any Mental Health First Aid Officer.

  • The importance of understanding, discretion and confidentiality

Alongside this, an organisation needs to take into account other factors, such as:

  • The size of the organisation and the type of industry (i.e. could the nature of the business and/or its size have some kind of impact on workers’ mental health problems?)

  • Does the organisation require assistance from any legal third party to develop its Mental Health First Aid policy?

  • Would the organisation benefit from external training for a qualified supplier of training on stress prevention and/or early mental health intervention in the workplace (e.g. MHScot)

What can workplaces do now?

 

From our experience, it is key to any organisation’s workforce wellbeing that employees are trained in Mental Health First Aid, perhaps with a view to them becoming a ‘Mental Health First Aid Officer / Champion’.

We can demonstrate tangible results, from organisations’ and people we have worked with, as to how better understanding of the issues of mental health in the workplace and early recognition and intervention into someone suffering from poor mental health, could be the difference between an individual’s or whole workforce’s mental health wellbeing.

Mental First Aid is just as important as Physical First Aid_RedBlue_White text

Criteria

 

  • Attended the 2-day Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid training or you already regularly run ‘mental health’ workplace training that would work well for this type of initiative.
  • Created an environment in the workplace where mental health is being widely discussed; top down and bottom up.
  • Have ‘buy in’ at the top (in order to create real culture change it’s important to have everyone on board, but crucially at the top level).
  • Feel ready to create a ‘framework’ where we can support you to consider what this type of programme might look like in your organisation – as you know your workplace environment best, you will be responsible for its implementation.
  • Be able to set some time aside, with the support of others in your workplace, so that the programme can really flourish and so time is set aside for its implementation.
  • Set aside a permanent yearly budget.  Embedding this within the culture of every organisation requires you to think on a long term, permanent basis.

How can MHScot help?

 

MHScot offer a range of Mental Health and Wellbeing courses for organisations, corporate companies and individuals in Scotland.

Our courses are open to everyone and are run by our team of professional and qualified trainers.

Our range of courses and training workshops include:

We are currently developing a Mental Health First Aid Champion programme with Apex City Hotels, running pilot workshops and creating the structure of how it will work in practice.  We will use the learnings from this and turn it into an additional service that we can provide.

Simply get in touch to register your interest for running this programme in 2019.

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