From being locked down on and off for 18 months to “The Great Resignation” brought on from companies under-valuing and under-supporting staff, mental health has had a huge part to play in how business survive in 2021 and will continue to play a huge part in the future of all businesses. Which is why we’re investing in a Mental Health First Aider.
Around 1 in 20 people who read this article will be having suicidal thoughts. Let that sink in for a minute… It’s a lot, way too many, and has to stop. In some sectors it can be even worse and construction is certainly one that has not historically supported mental health very well.
I speak to people in the construction and recruitment industry’s every day, both have their own unique challenges and stresses, both are demanding and take a toll on those working within them at times. Luckily, both are making positive improvements with how they handle mental health not only reactively, but proactively.
Mental ill health covers a variety of different conditions, ranging from depression, anxiety and stress related disorders to schizophrenia and personality disorders and eating disorders. In the workplace the primary manifestations of mental ill health are anxiety, stress and depression which, although they may not be caused directly by work, are frequently exacerbated by it.
- In 2020 nearly 6 times as many people died from suicide as they did from road traffic accidents
- One in 4 people will experience a mental health issue in any given year
- 9 out of 10 people with ill mental health suffer stigma or discrimination
- We all have mental health, and just like our physical health, it needs looking after. Actually, it’s even more important than physical health as the body is nothing without the mind.
- 70-100bn estimated is lost to UK businesses due to ill mental health issues such as absence and presenteeism etc.
As a mental health first aider I can identify the signs and symptoms of a range of mental health conditions and provide first line assistance to someone experiencing a mental health issue or crisis. Most importantly, a mental health first aider should be viewed as someone who can be approached, someone who will listen, someone who cares and someone who will understand.
The course is quite reactive and focusses on what do when someone already has a mental health issue. It’s important to me to also establish a larger focus on prevention and provide lots of information and encouragement internally moving forwards on how we can all look after our own mental health better whilst also being more aware of the mental health of those around us.
If you are keen to know more about mental health, please see these useful resources below:
HUB of Hope
NHS Well Being Tips