a brand new ‘Mental Health First Aiders’ scheme. This has involved investing in rigorous accredited training for 80 colleagues, following the guidelines set by Mental Health First Aid England.
Our newly qualified Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs), based around the country, are on hand to provide support to any colleagues who may be experiencing poor mental health or emotional distress.
We believe that providing good, timely and effective support to colleagues experiencing poor mental health is a way of putting our organisational values into practice. We also know that good quality mental health support can genuinely make a positive difference to colleagues’ wellbeing at work. Organisations that have made a similar investment in MHFAs typically see fewer days’ absence due to mental health issues.
Our MHFAs have been trained to support colleagues who may be experiencing poor mental health. Mental Health First Aiders can:
- Act as a point of contact to reassure colleagues in emotional distress or experiencing poor mental health;
- Listen non-judgementally and hold supportive conversations;
- Signpost colleagues to professional help;
- Identify the signs and symptoms for a range of mental health conditions;
- Use a five-step action plan to assist someone experiencing a mental health issue.
It is important to say that MHFAs are not qualified to provide counselling, diagnosis or ongoing support, and they cannot be available outside their normal working hours – but colleagues can also access 24/7 confidential advice through Dimensions Employee Assistance Programme.