Why mental health is a critical business issue

As if last year’s rise of Covid-19 was not enough for businesses and the economy to contend with, we have entered into a second wave and 2021 looks to have even more challenges of its own. Having spoken to a lot of our clients and different SMEs in the run up to Christmas and the start of 2021, one thing is certain – they are all facing challenges. Working from home with children, feelings of isolation, financial anxiety, struggling to know what the priorities are, mental exhaustion, the blurring of work and home life, feeling good one day and anxious the next.

We’ve all been there. 

Yet laying the current pandemic aside, mental health has been a rising issue for some time. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England and 1 in 6 people report to experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week in England. This is costing businesses a staggering £1,300 per employee whose mental health needs are currently unsupported. 

The Mental Health Training gap 

Whilst many companies have already taken steps to acknowledge how to better support mental health in the workplace, through the means of company policies and supportive management, there is still a huge skills gap in managers being able to support their teams with common mental health issues. 

According to research, 69% of UK line managers say that supporting employee wellbeing is a core skill, yet only 13% have received mental health training. 35% of line managers reported a wish for basic training in common mental health conditions.  

The effects positive mental health can have on your organisation’s culture 

Part of the problem with mental health is the stigma attached to it. People are often afraid to speak out because they think their manager may think they’re not fit to do their job. By having open, compassionate, learning conversations about mental health, it creates an opportunity for dialogue and emotional support.

Employers have a duty of care to create a workplace culture that does not shy away from discussing mental health issues; it needs to be made explicit to all employees that time off work due to mental ill health will be treated in the exact same way as time off due to physical ill health.

Support in a crisis

Coronavirus came about very quickly and employers have had to mobilise their teams quickly in response. Managers are having to quickly become coaches and find alternative ways to engage and connect with their teams. However, they also need to be equipped with the skills to spot early signs of mental health issues, even when working remotely and to encourage people to speak up about how they’re feeling, especially in times of isolation and working in silos. 

Mental Health First Aid training provides managers with the important skills to do this, and strategies to reach out and support those most in need.  It has the power to transform an organisation by improving each employee’s mindset and empowering them to take control of their mental health both at work and outside of it.   

We believe that Mental Health First Aid training should be a compulsory skill for all managers, not just to see our teams through this turbulent time, but as a business critical support mechanism that reaps so many benefits for employees and the organisation as a whole. 

If you would like more information about Mental Health First Aid training carried out by qualified and approved professionals, please contact us on 0333 358 0504 or email info@e18hteen50.co.uk

The importance of Mental Health First Aiders in the Workplace

It is estimated that mental health issues affect 792 million people worldwide, with 1 in 6 people (14.7%) experiencing mental health problems in the workplace. By creating a better support mechanism in your workplace, you are estimated to save your business up to £8 billion per year. 

With mental health emergencies at work now appearing more prevalent than physical ones, support from colleagues and line managers is clearly vital in helping people to manage distress or mental illness at work. 

Here at 1850, we believe that by equipping one or two people within your organisation with the right knowledge, skills and strategies to spot early signs of mental health issues, you will promote an inclusive and supportive work culture, and help to reduce absenteeism and staff turnover. 

We are therefore committing to training 52 people from different organisations throughout 2021 in Mental Health awareness to help tackle the ever-increasing Mental Health cases we are seeing. 

What is Mental Health First Aider Training? 

Mental Health First Aid trains your employees to spot the early signs of someone in your organisation who is struggling and to prevent their mental health condition getting worse. They are not trained therapists or counsellors. Instead, they are way to identify both the symptoms and causes of mental health problems so that you can reduce stigmas and enact positive change. 

We work with highly qualified and approved Mental Health First Aiders England (MHFA) who have delivered training in a variety of workplace settings ranging from hospitals, financial institutions, police, housing associations, universities and SMEs.

Why do we need Mental Health First Aiders? 

A Mental Health First Aider’s role is to offer support to someone experiencing a mental health problem before professional help is obtained.

It enables you to: 

  • Feel confident helping someone experiencing a problem.
  • Spot the early signs of a mental health problem.
  • Provide help on a first-aid basis.
  • Help stop a mental illness from getting worse.
  • Help someone recover faster.
  • Guide someone towards the right support.
  • Reduce the stigma of mental health problems.
  • Promote a culture of care and support in the workplace. 

Support Mental Issues surrounding Covid-19

In light of the increasing anxiety caused by Covid-19, your employees are likely to feel more anxious than usual.  We are all having to adjust to new ways of working and need additional resilience to help cope with change and uncertainty. Mental Health First Aid training helps to equip key members of your team with the skills to positively influence and support colleagues during this challenging time.

Over the last 12 months in particular, we are seeing more companies facing increasing mental health issues in the workplace, and we believe this is one of the best investments your company can make during this time.  

If you would like to find out more, please contact us on 0333 358 0504 or email info@e18hteen50.co.uk and we’ll talk you through the training programme in more detail.