Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training has been growing in popularity in recent years. It is now widely understood that mental health problems are just as serious as physical health problems, and should be treated with the same respect.
This in mind, we thought we’d put together a list of the top benefits of MHFA training in the workplace, and exactly why it’s so important. By the end, we hope you’ll understand the true benefits of bringing MHFA training into your own workplace.
Why is MHFA Training Important at Work?
Workplace Mental Health First Aid training is vital in providing employees at work with adequate mental health support. A Mental Health First Aider at work can support employees experiencing mental illness or poor mental health, as well as provide guidance and signposting for those people experiencing mental health conditions or tips on looking after their mental health.
On top of this, did you know that mental health problems are one of the leading causes of absenteeism in the workplace? In fact, according to a recent study, mental health issues cost UK businesses £2.4 billion per year. That’s another reason why it’s so important for employers to provide their employees with Mental Health First Aid Training.
Benefits of MHFA Training at Work
Improved mental health first aid knowledge, recognition of mental disorders and beliefs about effective treatments
According to a study of 5926 participants by Morgan et al, 2008, the key benefits of MHFA training lie in the improved knowledge training offers, including the recognition of poor mental health and the beliefs of MHFA participants. In this study, these effects were evident up to six months after completing the training.
Key benefits of MHFA training outlined by this research include:
- MHFA training improves mental health first aid knowledge, recognition of disorders, and beliefs about the most effective forms of treatment for mental health issues.
- MHFA training reduces stigma, increases confidence in assisting someone with a mental health issue and increases intentions to provide mental health first aid.
Encouraged help-seeking, improved knowledge, attitudes and skills
In research based around Mental Health First Aid Officers (MHFAOs) and their impact in the workplace from Bovopolous et al, 2018, it was found that MHFA training not only improved knowledge and attitudes in the workforce, but also encouraged help-seeking behaviour.
This is extremely important, as it highlights the potential for MHFA training to actively support employees experiencing mental health issues, by increasing the likelihood of them seeking help and support.
Key benefits outlined in this research include:
- Participants believed MHFAOs in the workplace were helping increase support and encouraging help-seeking, improving knowledge, attitudes and skills, and improving workplace culture.
- Participants believed that MHFA training should be offered to all staff in an organisation.
Increase in confidence around mental health issues, mental health conversations and understanding of mental health in the workplace
In research by Narayanasamy et al, 2018, it was found that MHFA training had a significant impact on confidence and understanding around mental health issues in the workplace. This highlights the potential for increased support, awareness and understanding of mental health amongst employees, with improved ability to have conversations and offer appropriate support.
Key benefits outlined by this research include:
- 91% of participants said their understanding of mental health in the workplace had increased after training.
- 88% reported an increase in confidence around mental health issues.
- 87% said more mental health conversations were happening.
- 78% said that employees trained in MHFA were supporting colleagues.
- 59% reported an increase in help-seeking behaviours.
Decrease in negative attitudes towards those with mental health issues and increase in knowledge and amount of help offered
A study by Hadlaczky et al, 2014 sees a decrease in negative attitudes towards those with mental health issues and an increase in the amount of help offered, post-MHFA training. This highlights the potential for MHFA training to not only improve understanding and support for employees experiencing poor mental health, but also combat stigma within the workplace.
Key benefits outlined by this research include:
- MHFA programmes are effective at increasing knowledge regarding mental health problems.
- MHFA effectively decreases negative attitudes toward those suffering from a mental health problem or mental ill-health.
- MHFA intervention is effective in increasing the number of times help is offered.
The Benefits of Mental Health on Business
Mental health issues are estimated to cost UK businesses £2.4 billion each year in absenteeism and presenteeism (meaning reduced productivity). On top of this, 70 million workdays are lost each year due to stress, anxiety and depression.
If companies don’t take action to support mental health issues within their workforce, it can lead to increased staff turnover, as employees who experience unsupported poor mental health are more likely to take time off work – or simply leave their job altogether.
As such, Mental Health at Work Training (such as MHFA training) can help businesses reduce these additional costs by:
- Reducing absenteeism and presenteeism.
- Enabling employee wellbeing and therefore improving performance.
- Improving staff morale, motivation and retention.
Benefits of MHFA Training FAQs
Why is MHFA important?
MHFA training improves knowledge, attitudes and behaviours around mental health issues, and can ultimately lead to improved support for those experiencing poor mental health. It also has the potential to combat stigma and encourage help-seeking behaviour. In the modern workplace, it is important to have an understanding of and be able to support employees experiencing mental health issues.
Is MHFA training useful?
Yes, MHFA training has been shown to have a positive impact on knowledge, attitudes and behaviours around mental health in the workplace. It also improves confidence in offering support to those experiencing poor mental health, and encourages help-seeking behaviour. With this training in hand, employees are better equipped to support their colleagues and create a positive and supportive workplace culture.
How can I get MHFA training?
MHFA courses can be accessed through accredited MHFA instructors. At Thriiver, we specialise in delivering MHFA training to organisations and businesses.
Looking For an Expert MHFA Training Course?
Our Mental Health First Aider course equips leaders, managers and employees with the skills to recognise signs of poor mental health and offer support. Our mental health services for employees provide an accredited MHFA training course, delivered by experienced and knowledgeable instructors.
We believe in the importance of promoting mental health in the workplace and are dedicated to providing support for employees experiencing poor mental health. Let’s work together to create a positive and supportive workplace culture.
Contact us today and see how we can help you!