New Industry Guidance for Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

Ellen Lees
By Ellen Lees,
updated on Feb 13, 2019

New Industry Guidance for Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has launched best-practice guidance for employers on how to implement Mental Health First Aid in the workplace

The guidance comes after the recommendation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to include ‘mental health first aiders’ as part of employers’ first aid needs assessments.

More than 15,000 organisations across the UK have already trained staff in MHFA England courses, but that figure could rise substantially if the new guidance is adopted by employers. According to the regulator, 15.4 million working days are lost due to mental ill health each year, and with the updated guidance, there is now a need for employers across all sectors to understand how Mental Health First Aid training should be implemented.

Read Implementing Mental Health First Aiders: Guide for employers.

Simon Blake OBE, Chief Executive of MHFA England, said: “Our new guidances provides clear information to support employers in implementing Mental Health First Aid training in the workplace - ensuring that their first aid provision can effectively protect both the mental and physical health of their employees.

“Mental Health First Aid training should always be one part of a ‘whole organisation’ approach to mental health - helping thousands of employers to implement the core standards for a mentally healthy workplace, as set out in the Government’s ‘Thriving at Work’ review, including improving mental health awareness and encouraging conversation about the support available.”

The new guidance, developed in consultation with leading employers PwC, Royal Mail, Thames Water and Three UK, provides information on strategically embedding MHFA England training. The guidance includes advice on how to recruit, promote and support staff trained in Mental Health First Aid as part of a whole organisation approach to workplace mental health.

Sally Evans, Wellbeing Lead at PwC, said: “As an employer that is incorporating Mental Health First Aid training into our wellbeing strategy, we were pleased to share our insights as part of the development of this new guidance.

“By offering this guidance, MHFA England is providing a clear set of considerations for employers looking at how to implement Mental Health First Aid training - whilst also respecting that organisations of different shapes and sizes will need to take different approaches.”

Alongside this new advice, strengthened guidance on the role of the person trained in Mental Health First Aid skills has also been published. Being a Mental Health First Aider aims to support the Role of the Mental Health First Aider. This covers the boundaries and responsibilities of those qualified at different levels; as Mental Health First Aiders, Mental Health First Aid Champions and Mental Health Aware.

Learn more about Mental Health First Aid and upcoming training courses.

Why I became a Mental Health First Aid Champion’. Katie shares her story of grief and how it led her to not only learn more about the importance of mental health, but support others too.

If you are worried about your mental health, you may benefit from speaking to a professional. Enter your location below to find a counsellor near you.

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