A survey undertaken by Mental Health First Aid England has revealed that managers do not feel confident in helping and supporting their employees with their mental health and wellbeing.
Mental health in the workplace
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, one billion people in the working population suffered mental health concerns, equating to 15% of the working population, 12 billion work days lost annually, and $1 trillion lost in productivity.
As published by Mind News on November 25th, 2022, the WHO and International Labor Organisation (ILO) issued a joint briefing on September 28th, 2022, to outline practical strategies to support those suffering from mental health concerns in the workplace.
The first of three recommendations was for all managers to undertake mental health training. A new law was presented to the UK parliament a few weeks ago seeking for it to be a legal requirement for every business to have mental health first aid training.
Who is Mental Health First Aid England?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England was established as a social enterprise 15 years ago. Its vision is to “improve the mental health of the nation.” So successful has MHFA become that it now provides training and consultancy to over 20,000 workplaces with over 1,800 instructor members who deliver mental health-related training to over 600,000MHFAiders®.
Training is delivered in person and online to various organizations, including universities, the armed forces community, businesses, and the public sector. This training gives participants the confidence ”to recognize the signs and symptoms of comment mental health issues.” Thus, those with mental health concerns can access the proper support and resources.
On February 7th, 2023, MHFA announced that they would be working with the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) to support learners further to gain an Ofqual-regulated Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) qualification.
The Chief Executive, Simon Blake, stated,
“the launch of this MHFAider® qualification cements a decades long relationship with RSPH – one that has been forged on evidence based, robust training that puts learners and the mental health of the nation at the heart of operations.”
My Whole Self campaign for workplace culture change
MHFA has been a strong advocate for mental health and campaigns to help reduce the stigma, make people aware of mental health, and get support. To support its next campaign, My Whole Self, marked on March 14th, 2023, it has researched workplace culture.
The recently published findings from this report are alarming but send a clear message that there is so much more we can do in the workplace to support our employees and team members. Here are five key statistics from the data:
- 33% of managers feel beyond their depth supporting their team with mental health concerns across all age groups.
- This figure increase to 45% for managers under 25 years
- 74% of managers are concerned about their team’s mental health due to the cost-of-living crisis.
- 23% of managers state they are ‘very worried’ about the impact of the squeeze on living standards on employee wellbeing.
- 30% of managers said more support and training from their employer would help them to create a team where everyone feels they can bring their whole selves to work
MHFA calls on workplaces to ensure “managers have the training, time, and tools they need to support their teams and give people and businesses the ingredients to thrive.”
To mark the My Whole Self day, MHFA has developed free resources to allow much-needed conversations in the workplace that will enable everyone to be their whole Self at work. A link to the resources for this campaign can be found here.
To conclude, the importance of all employers urgently acting on the advice from WHO, ILO, and government as well as MHFA and ensuring managers are mental health first aid trained cannot be underestimated as this training WILL save lives.
My Mind News would like to understand if our readers feel out of their depth in dealing with mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Let us know your comments in the comments.