How do you support your Mental Health First Aiders?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) can be an integral part of your organisation’s strategy designed to create a culture where mental health is managed effectively. Many organisations appear to think this will be the ‘tick in the box’ that is mental health and wellbeing.
Ultimately, MHFA is as effective and as limited in what it can achieve as traditional first aid. We do not expect traditional first aiders to cover all aspects of workplace safety, or to take the place of paramedics, doctors or nurses, nor should we expect Mental Health First Aid to cover all aspects of employee mental health and wellbeing, or to take the place of counsellors or therapists.
The Role of MHFA
It is important that the business and the person undertaking the training understand the role of the Mental Health First Aider. The role of the Mental Health First Aider is to understand the signs of poor mental health, initiate conversations and to listen without judgement while signposting the individual to additional support services. It is not to diagnose or ‘fix’ other people’s personal problems.
Unfortunately, when others in the business do not fully understand the role, those trained in mental health first aid can find their colleagues offloading and sharing more than they are comfortable handling. This can result in people taking on too much of other people’s emotional baggage, which can lead to burn out.
How can you ensure you give the best and get the best from your MHFA trainees?
As well as offering MHFA training we have developed a suite of courses to ensure the employer receives a good return on their initial investment in the following ways:
Preparing for MHFA
Before investing in the full two-day MHFA training we provide a half-day workshop designed to prepare those interested in being MHFA. The workshop focuses on the skills needed to deliver MHFA and helps to build resilience.
Ongoing support for MHFA
Once delivering MHFA many people may find they are being exposed to very emotive areas that may raise issues for the individual mental health first aider, this can result in burn out if not addressed appropriately. As a therapist I have a professional supervisor to support me when things arise in therapy sessions that I find challenging. We are offering a similar service in a group setting, providing quarterly 2-hour workshops giving an opportunity to share experiences with other Mental Health First Aiders, identifying tools and techniques to build skills and opportunities to build your resilience as a Mental Health First Aider.
Resilience building for MHFA
To help those who have been MHFA trained and who may feel ill-equipped for the reality of the role, or has struggled to re-focus after supporting someone with a mental health issue, or someone who wants to build their skills so that they feel confident if they are faced with a crisis situation, we have developed a one-day resilience building workshop. This training will focus on core skills to carry out the role effectively, while supporting oneself.
For information on this and other courses aimed to support good mental health at work call me today on 01954 267640 or email email@example.com