Implementing Mental Health First Aiders guide for employers

Create a clear policy and role document Set out a written policy for your organisation’s approach to MHFA England training. Always seek independent legal advice before finalising and implementing a policy. Give your Mental Health First Aiders clear documentation of the expectations and boundaries of their role within your organisation. The documentation should include: – Self-care and opting out

Mental Health First Aiders can: – Understand the important factors affecting mental ill health – Identify the signs and symptoms for a range of mental health conditions – Use a five-step action plan to provide MHFA to someone experiencing a mental health issue or crisis – Listen non-judgementally and hold supportive conversations using the MHFA action plan – Signpost people to professional help, recognising that their role as a Mental Health First Aider does not replace the need for ongoing support MHFA England courses do not teach people to be counsellors, or provide ongoing support or diagnosis. Instead, the course prepares them to act as a point of contact, reassure a person who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress, and signpost them to professional support.

Make sure Mental Health First Aiders are aware that their role is voluntary. At times they may need to take a break for their own mental health. Remind them regularly that if the role starts to impact on their own wellbeing, they should consider stepping down, and to communicate with their named contact (below). – Support for your Mental Health First Aiders Name who is overseeing the initiative. Include details of who the Mental Health First Aiders should contact with any questions or concerns about their role, or if they need support themselves (see page 11 for more detail). – Responsibilities What are the specific responsibilities you have decided on for your organisation’s Mental Health First Aiders, and how does this fit with their job duties? – The process for signposting colleagues to support , both within the workplace (e.g. through Human Resources), and to external organisations.


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