Implementing Mental Health First Aiders guide for employers

Evaluate the support you have in place A vital step in the action plan taught on MHFA England courses is signposting to support. You will need to develop clear referral and assistance pathways so your Mental Health First Aiders can

signpost their colleagues effectively and safely. – What support is available for employees now and is this providing the level and type of support your organisation needs? – What is the uptake of this support? For example, if you have an Employee Assistance Programme or Occupational Health, how often is it used? – Ask for feedback from your employees on the support available, and any barriers to uptake (for example, poor service, unaware it is available, concerned they will be judged for accessing the support). – Is the support widely promoted and easy for employees to locate? If the support is confidential, this must be made clear to ensure there are no barriers to accessing help. Be transparent about the process for getting in touch with the service, what will happen next and expected timelines. – If you do not have support internally , are you connected with any local services/organisations that may be able to offer support? If so, are these links promoted to employees? It is good practice to promote a range of alternative external support sources alongside this, such as Mind , Samaritans , SANEline , and Shout . – MHFA England course manuals contain details of reputable national charities and services that can be approached for support.

Employer examples: support Deloitte ’s EAP was underused, with an average utilisation figure of 7%. An internal survey found that people didn’t know what it was, what it did or how to access it. Those who had some knowledge of the service thought it was only for clinical counselling for people with a diagnosed mental health issue – not a service for everyone offering a wide range of help and advice. Employees said that a simple descriptive name would improve awareness and uptake of the service. The EAP was relaunched as Deloitte’s Advice Line and three years later its utilisation has increased to 27% annually. Exterion Media advertises its own EAP and signposts to the National Advertising Benevolent Society helpline so that employees can access quick, independent support tailored to their industry. WHSmith promotes a range of options for support on posters which are displayed on ‘wellbeing noticeboards’. View their example poster .


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