What is Mental Health First Aid and How Can Companies Implement it?
Occupational health has become a crucial aspect of workplace culture and policies, and with the rise in awareness around mental health, it’s important for companies to prioritize Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid is an international, evidence-based training program that teaches people to identify, understand, and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges. The training will give people much-needed resources to help friends, peers, coworkers, fellow community members and others who may be struggling. This training specifically addresses the relevance of mental health to your industry’s culture; information on risk factors such as mental and physical trauma faced by your team members and their families; how to break down stigma; and how to reach out to those who suffer in silence and are reluctant to seek help. This support can be provided by a trained individual who is able to recognize and respond to symptoms of mental illness. In this article, we will explore the importance of Mental Health First Aid in the workplace, the benefits it can provide to companies, and how to implement a Mental Health First Aid program.
The Value of Mental Health First Aid for Companies:
Mental health issues can have a significant impact on the workplace. According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Mental health issues can also lead to increased absenteeism and presenteeism, as well as higher healthcare costs. By investing in mental health first aid training for their employees, companies can see a variety of benefits, including improved employee productivity and engagement, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, lower healthcare costs, and reduced stigma surrounding mental health.
The Role of Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace:
Mental Health First Aid training typically includes education on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. The training also provides individuals with the skills to support someone experiencing a mental health challenge or developing a mental health crisis. To integrate Mental Health First Aid into a company’s culture and policies, it is important to provide ongoing support and resources for mental health in the workplace as well as providing tactics and encouragement for self-care. This can include access to mental health professionals, mental health awareness campaigns, and policies that promote work-life balance and reduce stress.
How to Implement Mental Health First Aid in Your Company:
If your company is interested in implementing Mental Health First Aid, there are several steps you can take. First, seek out training programs and resources that are specific to your industry and the needs of your employees. Medcor offers both onsite and virtual training options to best suite your population’s needs. It is also important to get buy-in from leadership and employees and to foster a culture of open communication and support. Finally, provide ongoing education and resources for mental health to ensure that employees have the tools they need to support themselves and their colleagues.
Overall, mental health first aid is an important tool for companies to consider as they seek to support their employees’ mental health and well-being. By investing in mental health first aid training, companies can see more conversations about mental health among team members, and that is help reduce the stigma associated with behavioral health issues. This can lead to a variety of benefits, including improved employee productivity and engagement, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, lower healthcare costs, and reduced stigma surrounding mental health. If your company is interested in implementing mental health first aid, contact us to learn more about mental health first aid in the workplace and take action to support your employees’ mental health and wellbeing.