Mental Health First Aid training teaches participants how to recognise mental health problems in others, how to provide support to those experiencing a mental health problem, and what to do in a mental health crisis.
First Aid for Mental Health is not a substitute for professional mental health services, but it can be used to help identify mental health problems in their early stages, as well as offering first-line support throughout schools, colleges, and workplaces.
Why is Mental Health First Aid Important?
HSE statistics show that 144 people were killed at work in 2018. As a society, we think this is unacceptable and spend a significant amount of resources to ensure the safety of employees. This includes carrying out risk assessments, providing safe systems of work, ensuring compliance with rules and procedures, and enforcing compliance when necessary.
While it is obviously important that health and safety professionals are focused on the prevention of injury and ill health at work, it is also vital that we recognise that we are in a mental health epidemic, which continues to get worse. In comparison to the 144 people who were killed at work in the UK in 2018, over 5,000 people died by suicide in the same year.
Mental health illnesses vary in severity and include a wide range of conditions, such as: stress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.
It is widely recognised that in any given year 1 in 4 people in the UK will have a mental health problem, 1 in 6 employees will suffer from a mental health illness, and 3 children in each UK classroom will have a diagnosed mental health condition.
With the average working adult in the UK spending a third of their time at work, and the average student spending a third of their time at school or college – it makes sense to have people trained in schools, colleges, and workplaces on how to recognise mental health problems in others, as well as knowing what to say to offer support (and what not to say), and where to signpost individuals to for professional help.
What Can You Do To Help?
The Where’s Your Head At campaign hopes to amend legislation to make it compulsory for employers to have trained mental health first aiders, in addition to those trained in physical first aid. So far, their petition to government has received over 194,000 signatures.
A change in legislation of this nature would of course be a positive step in the right direction. However, it is important to know that you can make the decision to train mental health first aiders not because the law tells you to, but because evidence shows that having an internal resource trained in first aid for mental health makes a significant difference to the people who work for your organisation.
Accredited First Aid for Mental Health courses are now available at Cosaint Training, which includes:
- Level 1 – An awareness course that equips participants with the necessary information to signpost individuals to the right resources.
- Level 2 – A course that helps participants create a positive mental health workplace culture.
- Level 3 – A more detailed course that is most beneficial for supervisors and managers.
Book your place on one of our courses now by calling 02890 825454, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.