http://wi-5.com/wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron=1523503780.2056870460510253906250 It is the 10th anniversary of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in England this week, but it is only in the last couple of years that this training has become the main game in town for organisations wishing to start a mental health programme. Heather Beach assesses the scheme.
MHFA involves either a two day course, which certifies you as Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider), a one day course, which means you’re an MHFA Champion or a half day course making you MHFA Aware.
This training isn’t, however, brand new. In fact, before it came to England in 2007, MHFA had been around since the year 2000 in Australia, where the movement first started.
The growing interest in mental health in society and in business has meant that people are looking for answers. In January, prime minister Theresa May identified MHFA as being the programme she wanted for schools, and last year Norman Lamb MP tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons calling for first aid regulations to be amended to include mental health, thereby adding his weight to the MHFA camp.
Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to ensure the health safety and welfare at work of their employees. This includes minimising the risk of stress-related illness or injury to employees.
However, in the UK at least, you are more likely to find that it is the Equalities Act 2007 which causes you to land up in a tribunal as a result of a stress case. Disability discrimination now sits under this act and a mental health issue can absolutely be considered a disability.
There is lots of case law here which your HR team will be aware of. It is in their interests to ensure managers understand this, that your organisation has a wellbeing policy and that people inside it are trained to deal with a mental health issue.
Clients sometimes have concerns over selection – should they allow people to self-select? Does this always get the best people? These may be legitimate concerns to some degree, and whilst I can see an argument for ensuring there are representatives from different areas of the business, I think people generally have a nose for ensuring they speak to someone they can trust.
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The Healthy Work Company can deliver MHFA 2 day courses and a Stress Management for Managers course. If you would like more information, please contact Heather on: firstname.lastname@example.org