A crew leader and construction worker talking at job site.

Support for Employees: The How & Why of Mental Health First Aid

Balancing personal and professional responsibilities can often be challenging. As a result, many employees may struggle with mental health issues but hesitate to seek help due to the fear of judgment or stigma. This is where employers can play a crucial role in supporting employees’ mental health in the workplace.

Mental health is critical to an employee’s overall well-being, affecting your workplace culture, productivity and morale. Therefore, employers must equip themselves with the proper knowledge and skills to support and care for team members experiencing mental health challenges. 

What Is Mental Health First Aid?

Just like physical first aid, mental health first aid is a valuable skill that can make a significant difference in someone’s life. The training aims to help individuals in distress before professional services are needed, similar to how you would provide physical first aid until medical professionals can take over.

Whether you’re a concerned friend, family member, coworker or community member, knowing how to respond effectively to mental health concerns can help save lives.

Mental health first aid is based on the idea that anyone can provide initial support to someone experiencing a mental health crisis or challenge—regardless of their background or profession. 

It involves learning how to recognize common mental health disorders, such as: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance-use disorders
  • Suicidal ideation

From there, it helps individuals understand how to respond in a compassionate and non-judgmental way.

Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

For employers and managers, recognizing the early signs of stress, anxiety and depression is essential. Therefore, employers must create a safe and supportive work environment that promotes mental health awareness and provides access to mental health resources. 

Doing so will benefit employees and help increase productivity and decrease absenteeism.

Furthermore, supporting mental health demonstrates a company’s commitment to its employees’ well-being and can improve employee morale and loyalty. It can also attract and retain top talent as employees seek out companies prioritizing their mental health.

But how can you, as a leader,support employees? And how can you train your managers (and even employees) to do the same?

Upcoming Webinar on Mental Health First Aid

At OECS, we aim to provide business leaders, managers and operational teams with the best resources and training to create a safe workplace culture. But our services go beyond physical well-being, as we know that mental health is a critical factor in workplace safety.

In our previously recorded webinar, we will: 

  • Dive into the concept of mental health first aid
  • Explore the benefits of undergoing the training
  • Show you how to identify and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders

You’ll learn how offering managers and employees Mental Health First Aid training can be an excellent way to help your employees better understand and address mental illness, thereby improving your company’s overall health. 

Mental Health First Aid Training for Managers & Teams

Let’s recap: Mental Health First Aid is a training program designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills to recognize the signs of mental health challenges, offer initial support and connect these individuals to appropriate professional help. 

Mental health challenges are common and can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, background or profession. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people worldwide will experience a mental health disorder at some point. However, due to the stigma associated with mental health, many individuals do not seek help or receive adequate support. Again, this is where Mental Health First Aid (and you as a leader) become crucial.

By attending this Mental Health First Aid webinar, you can gain the skills and knowledge to provide initial support for employees in distress, offer a listening ear and help connect them to appropriate resources. 

Mental health first aid can also help: 

  • Reduce stigma
  • Increase awareness about mental health
  • Save lives by providing timely and practical support

To put it simply, supporting employee mental health is the right thing to do and a wise business decision. Employers have the power to make a positive impact on their employees’ lives and their overall success as a company.

Join Us May 18th!

Looking for effective ways to provide support for employees? Remember to view our free previously recorded webinar. For questions about the webinar, or if you’d like to learn more about our other workplace safety programs, please fill out an online form or call us at 763-417-9599 (Twin Cities office) or 701-289-7662 (Fargo office).