In October I was lucky enough to be a speaker at Thrive 2020, a one-day convention exploring how to make Guernsey the happiest place in the world to live by 2020.
My contribution sums up what mental health first aid is and how it may be used in Guernsey, but also in general.
Take a look. My section is number 18 on the list of 21 (see each talk listed on the right-hand side of the screen).
MHFA is just as important as physical first aid
For a while now I have been saying that mental health first aid needs to be a legal requirement in businesses, in the same way, that physical first aid is. The two should be treated on parity. There is no health without mental health.* I even predicted within the next 5 to 10 years it will become law. The process is starting.
According to Mental Health First Aid England, an announcement is due today. “The Right Honourable MP Norman Lamb will lead a call on the government to make MHFA part of the first aid regulations for employers.” The timing is no coincidence – today Monday 10th October 2016 is World Mental Health Day 2016.
What does this mean for business? You have two options –
- Wait until it’s law and then join the rush (with all the others) to comply.
- Get ahead of the game, make the most of the CSR** opportunity this presents for your marketing and HR announcements and get your staff trained NOW. Who would not want to work for an organization that is not supportive of mental health issues?
As a Mental Health First Aid Course Trainer accredited to Mental Health First Aid England let me train your team. Let’s get your course(s) setup – contact
** CSR = corporate social responsibility
The most common mental health issues are stress, anxiety and depression
- How stressed are you as a senior manager/business owner?
- How stressed are your employees?
- How anxious are your employees, for example, about job success or job security?
- Could you recognize a depressed member of staff?
Statistics show that one in four people will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year.
- How many people do you employ?
- How many people on your staff are likely to be affected?
Mental ill health is the third biggest cause of absenteeism in the workplace.
- What do mental health problems cost your company in a year from absenteeism?
- What will it cost you if a senior member of staff is absent for a week? Or for 3 months or even longer?
- What about the cost of presenteeism (attending work but underperforming)?
The estimated overall cost (of mental health problems) to UK business is now £30.3 billion a year – equivalent to £1206 per employee (that’s every member of your staff, not just the affected ones).
- Can you afford that?
- You can increase your bottom line by training about mental health issues and mental health first aid thus reducing absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace.
- The courses cost a fraction per person of the overall impact of mental health issues on your business
- It is a sensible business investment to have employees trained in mental health first aid to reduce absenteeism and presenteeism?
- Your staff will benefit from understanding more about their own mental health and learning methods to safeguard themselves
As the cost of mental health in the workplace increases the need to know and understand more about the issues also increases.
- As a minimum, your HR staff should be trained in mental health first aid.
- What about the company benefits of training your staff under Corporate Social Responsibility?
- Be ahead of the game (it is a matter of time before there is a legal requirement for members of staff are mental health first aid trained, just as it is a legal requirement now for physical health first aid training)
- Be viewed as a caring company – caring about mental health issues in the workplace (not just the bottom line).
- Improve your ranking in the list of companies that people want to work for.
- Being a socially responsible organization and training your staff in mental health first aid and being aware of mental health issues is certainly something to shout about in press releases, advertising and in social media.
- Can you afford not to?
Contact me on email@example.com to learn more about available courses to benefit your business
People at work