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Mental Health First Aid Legislation

Has your organisation created a health and wellbeing strategy where physical and mental health are integrated?

Your first aid needs assesment

“The HSE cannot tell you what provision you should make for first aid. You, as an employer, are best placed to understand the exact nature of your workplace and decide what you need to provide.

First aid provision must be ‘adequate and appropriate in the circumstances’. This means that you must provide sufficient first aid equipment (first aid kit), facilities and personnel at all times.

In order to decide what provision you need to make you should undertake a first-aid needs assessment. This assessment should consider the circumstances of your workplace, workforce and the hazards and risks that may be present. The findings will help you decide what first-aid arrangements you need to put in place.

Mental ill health and first aid

Following your employers’ first aid needs assessment; you might decide that it will be beneficial to have personnel trained to identify and understand symptoms and able to support someone who might be experiencing a mental health issue.

You should consider ways to manage mental ill health in your workplace which are appropriate for your business, such as providing information or training for managers and employees, employing occupational health professionals, appointing mental health trained first aiders and implementing employee support programmes.

First aid training courses covering mental health, teach delegates how to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and help them to develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone, while keeping themselves safe. “

Source: The Health and Safety Executive Guidance notes 2019

Making the case for Mental Health First Aid Training

Other than preventing suicide, supporting recovery and social inclusion, eliminating stigma and discrimination, raising awareness and promoting mental health and wellbeing for yourself and others, WHY should we bother about Mental Health training?   

Law and Policy:

We have legal obligations ‘Duty of care’ to protect health, safety and welfare of employees that are covered in The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. We must assess risks from hazards at work, including work-related mental health issues

The Equality Act 2010

This protects disabled people from unfair treatment, this includes many people with a mental health issue

Mental Health (Discrimination) Act 2013

This removed legislative barriers to people with Mental Health Issues being company directors.

Other key legislation and strategic guidance relating to mental health

The Five-Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016)

Strategic guidance by the Mental Health Taskforce, set up in 2015

Crisis Care Concordat (2014)

Health and Social Care Act (2012)

Preventing Suicide in England 2012

No health without Mental Health (2011)

Where can find out more about how other organisations have created a health and wellbeing strategy?  

Mental Health First Aid training complements the HSE Management standards approach really well.

The Management standards approach use a risk assessment process to identify the EXTENT and CAUSE of stress, suggest ways to prevent stress and suggest ways to manage stress. They cover six key areas of work design that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health, lower productivity and increased accident and sickness absence rates.

The Management Standards are:

Demands – this includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment

Control – how much say the person has in the way they do their work

Support – this includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues

Relationships – this includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour

Role – whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles

Change – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation.

You can download the management standards workbook at the botom of this page. It uses a clear step-by-step method which includes checklists to help you make sure you have completed a stage before you move to the next step.

Vist out Blog and mental health training resources pages to see what other organisations gave been up to. We cannot share speciffic contact details. 

The Cambridge Network. Don't be misled by the title, you don't have to be from Cambridge to benefit. 

The MHFA England website

 

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