Every day millions of Australians go to work while experiencing a mental health problem. The impact of this, for both the individual and employer can be enormous, affecting productivity, performance, well-being and safety. More and more workplaces are recognising the benefits of creating mentally healthy workplaces and fostering a culture of care, where employees feel supported and encouraged to talk openly about mental health.
Wellbeing is a measure of how someone feels about themselves and their life. The better someone feels about themselves, the more satisfied they will be. If your workforce feels generally good about their health and emotional state, they will be more satisfied within themselves. This will then translate into greater satisfaction with their work.
No doubt, you’re already thinking about how you can create a mentally healthy workplace. You are not alone; more and more workplaces are realising the impact that mental health problems at work have on their people and productivity. Encouraging early help-seeking is one way to promote a mentally healthy workplace. Given that most working adults spend the majority of their day at work, the workplace is where the early signs and symptoms of a developing mental health problem can often be first noticed.
Over the past couple of months, we at Human Interactions Australia, have become accredited as Mental Health First Aiders through Mental Health First Aid Australia.
You may be asking yourself what is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)?
We have all heard of the term First Aid. First aid is the first and immediate assistance given to any person suffering from either a minor or serious illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery.
Furthermore, MHFA is the help offered to a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. First aid is given until appropriate professional help is received or until the crisis resolves.
Why is it important to have MHFA?
Mental health problems are common and need to be recognised and appropriately addressed.
With MHFA, people will be able to recognise problems in others and be better prepared to support them..
Many people with mental health problems do not seek help or delay seeking help, which can make the recovery more difficult.
Better understanding of the people with mental health problems can reduce prejudice and discrimination.
People with mental health problems may at times not recognise that they need help or may be unaware that effective help is available for them
Professional help is not always available when a mental health problem first arises. MHFA can offer immediate first aid and assist the person to get appropriate professional help.
The MHFA course has taught us how to recognise the cluster of symptoms of different illnesses and mental health crises, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person towards appropriate treatments and other supportive help.
As accredited Mental Health First Aiders we are here to support you in getting the best out of your people. We can provide you with the information and tools and guide you through the process of assisting your employees through their mental health problems and encourage employee wellbeing.
If workplace wellbeing is not addressed, your workforce may feel dissatisfied, undervalued, demotivated, prone to ill-health, overwhelmed and unable to work to the best of their ability. This will have flow on effects for productivity, engagement, culture and overall organisational wellbeing. It makes good business sense to take a proactive approach to organisational health by developing a robust workplace wellbeing program.
Contact us on 02 8279 6955 to find out more or how we might help your team. Alternatively email us [email protected]
Source: Information in this blog has been sourced from www.mhfa.com.au and Mental Health First Aid Australia Manual. 4th ed. Kitchener BA, Jorm AF, Kelly CM.