Can a mental health first aider benefit a business?

With stress, anxiety, and depression accounting for 49% of work-related illness, it’s worth considering whether having a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) benefit a business?

An MHFA is someone who provides initial support, encouragement and signposting of a person to identify and access professional help and support.

Everyone has mental health, with one in four people experiencing poor mental health, the need for understanding and support is clear.

Unfortunately, stigma still surrounds mental health, making it difficult for individuals to seek help. MHFAs help to bridge this gap by offering a listening ear, promoting early intervention, and signposting to additional sources of support.

The purpose of a MHFA is to provide initial support and assistance to individuals experiencing mental health issues or emotional distress.

MFHAs are trained individuals who can recognise common mental health concerns, provide initial help, and in a moment of crisis guide individuals towards appropriate professional help if needed.

Having an MHFA in a business can bring benefits:

  • Identifying the signs and symptoms of mental health issues at an early stage, allowing for timely intervention and support.
  • It reduces the stigma surrounding mental health issues, encouraging employees to seek help without fear of judgement.
  • Prioritising mental health support can positively impact employee wellbeing and job satisfaction.
  • Whilst there is no specific legislation for MFHA provision in the workplace, the HSE recommends: ‘You should consider ways to manage mental ill health in your workplace which are appropriate for your business, such as…appointing mental health trained first aiders’.
  • Investing in an MHFA may reduce the costs of mental health related illness in your business. It is currently estimated to cost £42-£45 billion per year in UK.

Whilst appointing an MHFA is a positive step toward protecting employee wellbeing, you should also be aware that it isn’t an end-to-end solution for mental health issues.  An MHFA is not a GP, therapist or counsellor.

If you would like more information on how MHFAs, contact our expert team today.