Workplace Mental Health First Aid programme

How will this course help me?


This is an 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 help mental health first aiders and management come together to develop a framework for providing mental health first aid at work.


We will be looking at your organisation’s resources, capacities and skills and how these could be used 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 your 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.


The topics that we will cover include:


  • Developing a mental health core group
  • Understanding the role of the mental health first aider
  • The role of human resources and line manager
  • 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


Who is it for?


The ideal group size is between three and eight, though larger groups or multiple workshops can be arranged. At least two trained mental health first aiders must 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, regardless of rank.


How long does it take?


The workshop lasts for three hours.


How can I make my workplace mental health first aid programme successful?


In order to start a workplace mental health first aid programme, you must:


  • 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


As an employer, you need to:


  • 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 aiders to maintain their mental health first aiders (or equivalent) training
Find out about our First Aid for Mental Health online courses