Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that 526,000 workers suffered from work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17, with 12.5m working days lost.
In response to this and the growing need for having trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in the workplace, Live For Work has launched its first course centred around the mental health and well-being of workers.
The MHFA (England) training course is designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first-aid basis.
Live for Work Owner Claire Dalton comments: “It is a legal requirement to manage stress in the workplace; mental health affects most of us in some way, and it’s important that we work to eliminate the stigma around mental health and encourage people to reach out if they are struggling.
“I established Live For Work 12 years ago, initially to provide First Aid training; we then expanded into many areas of health and safety, including offering consultancy services and the IOSH accredited Leading Safely and Managing Safely courses; since doing so, I have noticed the impact that long working hours, increased demands on individuals plus additional pressures at home have had on people’s ability to function both on a personal and professional level. This initially led to my interest in mental health issues; the Mental Health First Aid England course has opened up my eyes to the much broader spectrum of mental health issues that almost everyone will experience at some time in their lives. Just like poor physical health affecting the body, poor mental health will affect the brain and can ultimately cause physiological, behavioural and psychological effects on a person’s well-being that can lead to a whole range of health conditions.
“Our aim is both to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health; but also, to use our experience and knowledge of working within a wide range of industry sectors to assist organisations to set up a sustainable programme that enables their MH First Aiders to help their workforce. Promotion of well-being in the workplace is known to help reduce absenteeism and, to some extent ‘presenteeism’ (turning up to work but not functioning at full capacity).
“We have chosen to work with MHFA England as this is a recognised and credible brand that offers assistance both to its training providers and people that have attended the course, in the form of useful resources, links, assistance and advice.
“This training course will not only help workers assess and support colleagues and possibly family members and friends who struggle with mental health issues; but it is also designed to help to reduce the impact of absenteeism on businesses and promote focus on well-being at work.
“The course is proving exceptionally popular to date which we hope is indicative of the recognition that this very important and prevalent issue is now receiving.”
On completion, trainees will gain a qualification in Adult Mental Health First Aid, with the certificate issued by Mental Health First Aid (England). Live for Work can also provide ongoing support to organisations and their Mental Health First Aiders to ensure that their presence creates a positive impact.
The MHFA course runs over two days and is split into four parts, including topics such as depression, suicide, substance misuse, anxiety disorders, self-harm, personality disorders, and psychosis; MH First Aiders are trained recognise the signs and symptoms, and follow a proven route to assisting the sufferer and by signposting them on to further help.