Mental Health Awareness and Early Intervention

We are all becoming more aware of mental health, both at home and in the workplace. It impacts millions of people, and with the recent global pandemic, it has started affecting even more. It might feel like it has taken a long time, but mental health is finally being taken seriously.

However, there is still a lot of work to do and mental health awareness and early intervention need to be better recognised in the workplace. It’s time to bridge the communication gap between employers and staff as we strive for better intervention and support.

Mental Health First Aid – It Exists

Part of mental health early intervention is in the first aid process, and it’s just as valid as physical first aid. We often see mental health as less important than physical health, not being able to see it can make it more difficult to be empathetic towards it.

With 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health issues on a daily basis, it is important that we up our game and help staff to get through it – especially as only 1 in 6 reports that they are struggling through fear of being stigmatised or fired.

Many businesses are already using it, and it starts out as a two-day course that helps you and your staff to understand signs of mental health problems and how to offer support to those that are having a hard time. Mental health first aid provides:

  • The skills and knowledge to recognise mental health struggles
  • The ability to support those in mental distress
  • Information regarding further professional support and advice
  • A comprehensive understanding of mental health issues
  • An understanding of your own mental wellbeing

Employee Assistance Programmes

When considering things like insurance for your staff, employee assistance programmes are also an excellent help. These focus on things like mental health to ensure that they are getting the support they need in order to recover from periods of decline and try to stay on top of things.

Employee assistance programmes have been shown to reduce absences by 34%, boost staff retention, and create a more relaxed work environment where employees don’t feel they are at risk of losing their job if they require help for their mental health.

It demonstrates a sense of caring and understanding, and the programmes often include (but are not limited to):

  • 24/7 helplines and services
  • CBT
  • Counselling
  • Family support
  • Domestic abuse support
  • Addiction/substance abuse support
  • Medical helplines

Why Does This Matter?

Mental health can often have a greater impact on us than physical health, and if our mental health is in decline then our work is going to be as well. People harm themselves and end their lives because they feel stigmatised and as though there is no one to listen or understand.

By ensuring that staff and managers alike are trained in mental health awareness and intervention, we can put an end to the stigmas and make people feel safer and more comfortable if they are going through a hard time. We’re all human, after all.

To Conclude 

Mental health first aid is something that every company should adopt. It helps to create a space where employees feel safe and supported, and also promotes a more productive and relaxed work environment. When your employees are happy and don’t feel overly stressed, you really see that in the results that they produce.

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