New guidance on Mental Health First Aid in the workplace
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has this week launched best-practice guidance for employers and employees on implementing Mental Health First Aid in the workplace.
This follows the HSE’s recent enhancement of its First Aid guidance to clarify the existing need to consider mental health alongside physical health when undertaking a first aid needs assessment. It now states that employers should ‘consider ways to manage mental ill health in your workplace which are appropriate for your business, such as providing information or training for managers and employees, employing occupational health professionals, appointing mental health trained first aiders and implementing employee support programmes.
Developed in consultation with leading employers, the new guidance provides information on strategically embedding MHFA England training. It includes advice on the recruitment, promotion and support of staff trained in Mental Health First Aid as part of a whole systems approach to workplace mental health.
Alongside this, strengthened guidance on the role of the person trained in Mental Health First Aid skills has also been published to support employees. 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.
Together the new guidance documents are designed to support employers of all shapes and sizes in acting on the HSE’s recommendation. According to the regulator, 15.4 million working days are lost due to mental ill health every year, and with its updated guidance, there’s now a need for employers across all sectors to understand how Mental Health First Aid training should be implemented in the workplace.
To date over 15,000 organisations across the country have trained staff in MHFA England courses using it as a way to ensure their first aid provision protects both the mental and physical health of their employees.
Andrew Kinder, UK EAPA executive board member, said: “EAPA supports this initiative from Mental Health First Aid England to fill the gap that the HSE identified regarding the ongoing support and supervision needs of MH First Aiders. It is vitally important that MH First Aiders receive proper support to deliver their role following their initial training. EAPs are ideal vehicles to provide this and at the same time will ensure that all services available to employees are linked together.”
Download the new guidance for employers at: www.mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/resources/for-workplaces/implementing-mhfa-employer-guide
The enhanced guidance for Mental Health First Aiders can be found at: www.mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/resources/for-workplaces/mhfa-guide-to-your-role