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A mentally aware workforce.

The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the mental health of the nation. One in four people will have some mental health issue during their life. And the biggest cause of death for men under forty is suicide and depression. Now more than ever there is a need to improve mental health support for workers so they can safely return to their workplaces.

This is something I’ve been very vocal about in my job. A key part of any planned safe return to the workplace should be mental health training and support. Having a mentally aware workforce can help give workers the confidence to start a conversation about mental health issues. Educating the workforce about mental ill health can begin to dispel some of the ignorance and stigma that can be a barrier to someone’s recovery.

I’ve recently come across SpeakUp Mental Health, who offer a range of training programmes that can help employers raise awareness and insight into mental health and wellbeing. An effective way to improve support is having trained Mental Health First Aiders or Champions in place. These mental health advocates can play a pivotal role in promoting and supporting positive mental wellbeing.

The two-day Mental Health First Aid course equips participants with the skills and knowledge to spot the signs of someone experiencing a mental health issue and provide appropriate help. Having trained mental health first responders is crucial for creating healthy workplaces where emotional distress is on par with physical injuries.

Trained Mental Health First Aiders can be crucial change agents in helping to develop a new workplace culture that tackles the stigma of mental health and empowers and encourages workers to speak up about mental wellbeing issues. Mental Health First Aiders can give workers the confidence and a voice to speak up about mental health in a safe positive, non-judgemental environment.

SpeakUp Mental Health offers Mental Health First Aider training for individual or group bookings and a range of bespoke mental health awareness courses to meet organisational needs. For more information and details about their courses, visit their website.

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