Obtain first aid training in mental health - what does this mean exactly, well start by looking at delegating someone who may have a good understanding in mental health, or invest in someone to be professionally trained, they can utilise this knowledge. There are a wide range of organisations that specialise in mental health that can provide businesses with the knowledge and also offer solutions, maybe through an employee assistance programme. It is worth investing the time, money and resources, we have found in the clients we speak to over 82% of businesses do not have the knowledge or skills to deal with mental health issues, it is still an area many managers face difficulties in dealing with, or indeed what assistance to provide.
Having a mental health strategy is going to help your business, if you can intervene as early on with a problem then you may be able to prevent the issue escalating. The employee needs to know that you are there to help, they need that reassurance that you care, and even if you or your business are so busy that you are unable to dedicate a great deal of time then offer what you can, be there should the employee wish to talk. If you are not in a position to dedicate time then appoint one of your managers, someone that your employees can trust, a person that they feel comfortable in talking with. If we can help an employee from the start then this has benefits to you and your business, you may be able to prevent absenteeism, if they know their employer can help them through a problem. Mental health is everyone’s business, both employee and the employer, it can also impact on the wellbeing on colleagues, so measures and help needs to be offered from the start. Try not to hope that the problem will either go away or resolve itself, it’s unlikely that it will, but being there for an employee, offering assistance will certainly help.
So draft a mental health strategy, communicate it to your managers and ensure your employees know what to do and how to access your resources whether it be an appointed person whom to talk to or a third party organisation which provides counselling and support to employees - getting first aid training in mental health will help both your employees and you as a business.
For more information contact David Price at Health Assured on 0844 892 2493.