Mental health in the workplace has been a big focus across a number of sectors this year and one of the things to come out of this are separate first aid courses dedicated solely to mental health.
There are a number of courses that fall underneath this header; for a full list of our mental health first aid courses available, please click here. The right course depends on the circumstances surrounding applying in the first place and whether there are specific areas candidates wish to specialise in; for example, dementia awareness is a popular course for those working in the care sector.
It’s important to understand, however, that a mental health first aid course is not the same as a traditional first aid course – the topics and issues covered may overlap in places, but mental health courses are primarily focused on identifying and address mental health related issues, both inside and outside the workplace. The courses are not designed to make candidates into mental health specialists, but rather ensure they can act as a trained person to recognise the signs of mental health stress in their colleagues and act accordingly to a) address the issues and b) ensure the wellbeing of the person(s) involved.
A good place to start for a general course is Introduction to Mental Health in the Workplace. There are different variants of this course available, but the overall basis of the course is to train candidates to develop an understanding of mental health in the workplace, with the knowledge and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness and the ability to spot signs that a fellow worker could be suffering with a mental health related illness. Successful candidates should also develop skills to support positive wellbeing in the workplace.
As above, there are other, more specialist mental health awareness courses available, such as Stress Buster, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Awareness and Managing Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace. This type of specialist course is more focused to specific aspects; for example, the Stress Buster course focuses primarily on how stress affects the body both physically and mentally, how to identify triggers and adopt coping strategies.
Having people trained in mental health is a relatively new concept but one that can only benefit workplaces and workers moving forward.