Workplace Mental Health First Aid Programme

This is a 3-hour, informal workshop with key staff to discuss the logistics and realities of embedding Mental Health First Aiders into the workplace.

Whether you are a small team or a larger organisation we will facilitate the process where Mental Health First Aiders and Management come together to develop a framework for the practical implementation of providing Mental Health First Aid at work.

In functional terms, we will be looking at your organisation’s resources, capacities and skills and how these could reasonably be utilised in putting practical support structures in place. We will investigate how the service might operate in the workplace and tailor a solution to the specific needs and means of the organisation.

We will look at the practical steps that organisations can take to develop a culture of positive mental wellbeing at work while offering initial support and signposting to staff with poor mental health.

We have completed some pilot workshops and we are now ready to support organisations in drawing up a framework to implement and support workplace Mental Health First Aiders.

The ideal group size is between 3 and 8 (larger groups or multiple workshops can be arranged).

We require at least 2 trained mental health first aiders to be part of the workshop.

It is useful to have representatives of senior and middle management/supervisory level to attend plus any/all trained mental health first aiders (irrespective of rank).

Workshops to take place at the client’s premises or as arranged.

Workplace Mental Health First Aid Programme
Mental Health First Aid Programme

The topics covered in the workshop will entail

Developing a Mental Health Core Group

Understanding the Role of the Mental Health First Aider

The role of Human Resources and Line Managers

Managing Confidentiality

Policies and Procedures

Managing Conflict

Being on Duty as a Mental Health First Aider

Managing User Expectations

Logistics of Offering Mental Health First Aid at Work

Self-care for Mental Health First Aiders

Management Support Systems

Developing a Wellness Culture

Signposting to Services

Wellbeing and Prevention Strategies at Work

Recording and Flagging up Issues

Training and Skills Development

Our role at MHScot is to train Mental Health First Aiders and help companies and organisations to develop workable frameworks of support that can be built on over time.

New mental health initiatives are being developed across all sectors in Scotland and MHScot are closely involved in supporting these, therefore we are committed to sharing learnings and best practices across organisations and businesses in Scotland.

What can workplaces do to support early intervention for people with mental health problems?

Develop and implement a Mental Health First Aid framework.

Offer Mental Health First Aid and other relevant mental health training to all workers.

Encourage workers who have completed Mental Health First Aid to become a Mental Health First Aider in the workplace.

Appoint several suitable and willing Mental Health First Aiders.

Support and promote these Mental Health First Aiders across your organisation

Mental First Aid is just as important as Physical First Aid_RedBlue_White text

What’s the Criteria?

Attend a Mental Health First Aid course endorsed by NHS Health Scotland or First Aid for Mental Health (FAA) by Nucu Training.

Create an environment in the workplace where mental health is being widely discussed; top-down and bottom-up.

Have ‘buy-in’ at the top (in order to create real culture change it’s important to have everyone on board, but crucially at the top level).

Feel ready to create a ‘framework’ where we can support you to consider what this type of programme might look like in your organisation – as you know your workplace environment best, you will be responsible for its implementation.

Be able to set some time aside, with the support of others in your workplace, so that the programme can really flourish and so time is set aside for its implementation.

Set aside a permanent yearly budget. Embedding this within the culture of every organisation requires you to think on a long term, permanent basis.

Responsibilities of the employer

Allow the Mental Health First Aider to undertake appropriate training as required.

Communicate that this is not an obligatory role, even after having attended the training.

Have a sufficient number of Mental Health First Aiders available to cover absence and when someone would like to take time out from performing the role.

Provide support and debriefing opportunities, particularly when dealing with time-consuming and challenging situations.

Advise the Mental Health First Aider if there are any psychological hazards in the workplace.

Clearly communicate to workers how they can access the help of a Mental Health First Aider in suitable public areas.

Provide an appropriate space within the workplace that is accessible and suitable for private conversations.

Ensure staff have access to Mental Health First Aiders always, where possible.

Instruct Mental Health First Aiders not to exceed providing help, which is outside the scope of mental health first aid – this is an early intervention role.

Encourage and allow time for peer support between all Mental Health First Aiders.

Ensure that staff know what to do in a mental health crisis.

Ensure workers understand what to expect/not expect from mental health first aiders regarding the level of help they can provide, confidentiality and reporting.

Consider having Mental Health First Aiders at every level of your organisational structure and across the whole organisation. Sometimes staff want to speak to people at the same level as they are and/or want to speak to people they don’t know.

Provide the funding and time for the Mental Health First Aider to maintain their Mental Health First Aid (or equivalent) training.

We are currently supporting Apex City Hotels with creating a Mental Health First Aid Champion programme which involves running this programme.

Simply get in touch to register your interest in running this programme.

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