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Mental Health First Aiders

We’re proud to say that two members of our team have become qualified Mental Health First Aiders. Congratulations to Karen Eagles & Luke Versteeg!

The role of the Mental Health First Aider is to support employees in the workplace who are experiencing mental ill health or distress. This support can vary from having a non-judgmental conversation with a colleague, through to guiding them towards the right support.

What is the role of a Mental Health First Aider?

✅ Being able to recognise the early signs and symptoms of common workplace mental health illnesses

✅ Having the necessary skills to have a supportive, non-judgmental conversation with those who need it

✅ Possessing the knowledge and confidence to guide colleagues to the appropriate professional support if they require it

✅ Promoting greater awareness of mental health in the workplace and reducing stigma.

What is the impact of mental illness in the workplace?

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental illness each year. In 2016, 15.8 million UK work days were lost due to mental illness.*

The largest causes of sickness absence for our county’s workforce is depression, stress, and anxiety. Mental illness costs UK businesses around £35 billion every year, this equates to £10.6 billion lost to sickness absence, £21.2 billion in reduced productivity, and £3.1 billion in substituting staff members who vacate their roles due to mental illness.**

*Office of National Statistics
**MHFA England

What are the business consequences of ignoring mental health in the workplace?

Someone with poor mental health may not realise it and even if they do, they may be reluctant to seek help, or might not know where to turn for care. In the workplace, there is still a great deal of ignorance around mental health issues, including uncertainty about how to recognise mental illness, and uncertainty about how to react when faced with it. This means that those in need of mental health help and support do not receive it.

When left uninformed, managers and co-workers may unwittingly exhibit stigmatising behaviours, which can be detrimental to a person experiencing a mental health issue. Furthermore, by failing to respond appropriately to an employee with a mental health issue, an organisation may open itself to a claim for compensation. This could be lengthy, expensive, and take precious time away from managers and staff.

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