Increasing people’s awareness of mental health, reducing stigma, and promoting and facilitating early help-seeking are recognised as key strategies for a mentally healthy workplace. However, people may delay seeking help because workplace support systems are not available, not accessible, or not known. In this context Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) has emerged as an international programme that seeks to raise awareness of mental ill health and improve attitudes. It also educates people about the ways that they can support those experiencing a mental health crisis, through a range of training programmes.
However, MHFA is not specifically a workplace intervention and there has been little research conducted around its impact or success in the workplace or on the mental health of those receiving MHFA. This study seeks to address the gaps in the evidence-base by investigating the implementation, use and utility of MHFA in the workplace.
Informed by the research, the Evaluating the effectiveness of mental health policies and practices in the workplace roundtable, and subsequent dialogue with stakeholders, IOSH has developed additional guidance:
- Mental health in the workplace: benchmarking questions - to help ask benchmarking questions about workplace mental health and wellbeing support
- Mental Health First Aiders: Workplace considerations - considerations on integrating ‘mental health first aiders’ into a wider system of support.
IOSH held a round table discussion at the Institute of Directors (IoD) to discuss the findings of new research into Mental Health First Aid. Watch the video to hear all about it!