Mark Lyttleton is an angel investor, speaker and business mentor with a special interest in how the mind operates and energies work. This article will look at mental health in the workplace and the importance of putting in place support structures to protect workers’ wellbeing.

Just as a person needs to take care of their physical health, it is vital to prioritise mental wellbeing. Mental illness can strike at any time, affecting people from all walks of life. You can learn about the different types of mental health issues by viewing the attached infographic.

Although things are slowly improving, a great deal of stigma and misinformation still surrounds the issue of mental health. As a society, people tend not to take mental health seriously in the same way that they do their physical health. As a result, many individuals struggle to support family members, friends and colleagues experiencing mental health challenges. Indeed, when people experience mental health problems themselves, many do not know where to go in order to access help.

What Is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)?

MHFA is a training course that teaches people the skills they need to identify, understand and support someone experiencing a mental health issue. The course does not teach participants to be therapists, but it does help them to listen, respond and reassure individuals experiencing mental health problems, even in a crisis – or potentially help to prevent a crisis arising in the first place.

Participants learn to recognise warning signs associated with common mental health issues, developing the confidence and skills they need to approach and support someone while keeping themselves safe at the same time. In addition, they learn how to empower individuals experiencing mental health issues, helping them to access the support they need for successful recovery or management of symptoms.

Individuals who participate in MHFA training gain an understanding of how to support positive wellbeing, enabling them to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health in the world around them.

MHFA England strives to create resources and courses that are accessible to all. The organisation stages face-to-face and online courses focussing on mental health issues. A variety of resources are available for download on the MHFA England website, including interactive tools, guidance for line managers, film clips and much more. It should also be noted that this is a worldwide organisation, so look for your local offering.

You can learn more about becoming a mental health first aider by viewing the attached PDF.