Mental health challenges are a growing worldwide concern, especially in the wake of the pandemic which not only caused more mental health problems but also raised awareness of them. This is especially true in the workplace where both short and long-term absences are often a result of mental ill health. Rates of detection have improved, along with effective support – however the same cannot be said of training management and HR teams in the importance of this awareness and how to act appropriately and promptly. Part of the issue is that mental health training tends to be seen as a secondary issue, or even a luxury, especially in small businesses. It’s yet to be recognised as the vital investment it can be if the training is undergone thoroughly and effectively. There is already a glaringly clear link between employees who have been diagnosed with mental illness and their acute working difficulties.
The awareness of mental health issues has been increased through changes to society and in the workplace, particularly in the way that mental ill health is perceived in such environments and how it might affect working capacity – which is why comprehensive training in these problems is such a valuable business tool and can be so crucial in maximising annual turnover.
Increased mental health awareness decreases the risk of it affecting employees
It might seem harsh, but it’s sometimes observed that employee struggles may well be exacerbated by manager’s lack of knowledge about mental health, and in particular around mental ill health. They aren’t expected to be experts in either physical or mental health problems, but they are increasingly being expected to be on the ball when it comes to recognising and managing mental health problems in relation to their employees. This is why training courses have been developed to tackle this exact issue.
Occupational health and wellbeing can be comprehensively improved through mental health training for managers and HR departments in sync. In the workplace leaders can be a key component in supporting people occupationally who are suffering from mental health problems. An important part of this is that they have an integral role in understanding the common workplaces stresses and pressures that can well contribute to these mental health hurdles. It’s also within their power to make adjustments – sometimes they are obliged to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to facilitate the working environment of their employees. This is why mental health training is so important because it equips the relevant people with the knowledge and skills to prevent further problems from arising. If this training is absent then it’s inevitable that there will be an increased risk of mental health problems cropping up.
Another common issue that inadequately trained managers express is the concern over how to approach employees who they suspect of having difficulties. This isn’t an unreasonable concern because it’s certainly a potentially thorny ground, and it’s quite reasonable to worry that raising the issue/s might actually cause harm to the individual and possibly spark a complaint. We live in a litigious age and treading carefully around difficult areas is definitely a prudent move. Receiving full and comprehensive mental health training at work is an excellent way to feel firmer on shaky ground and have the confidence to deal robustly with any problems that crop up. This training doesn’t just protect managers and HR teams from complaints, it also facilitates a thriving work environment with minimal absences. Mental health in the workplace training for managers can be a crucial element in maximising business performance.
Increasing mental health awareness
An important element of training managers in mental health is that it raises awareness around the topic. It’s sadly true that mental health problems can often suffer from being stigmatised in the workplace, but by promoting a greater understanding this can definitely change. And it’s especially true when it concerns the more serious mental illnesses – borderline personality disorder, severe anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, schizophrenia, for example and common mental health problems can actually be exacerbated by the workplace. Having mental health first aid trained managers and HR teams means that they are better equipped to help the business recognise and understand symptoms of mental issues before they cause major problems for either the individual employee or the wider team as a whole. In addition this also gives them the ability to promote recovery of good mental health and wellbeing by understanding employee needs during a crisis situation.
Increase in confidence
It has been proven that people who are mental health first aid trained benefit from greater levels of confidence in providing help to others and especially at work. Businesses and organisations which ignore the importance of mental health training are more likely to ignore problems, lack the ability to help others and might even create social distance from those who suffer from mental health problems at work.
What mental health training is available to me?
PMAC have developed several courses to address all aspects of mental health training in the workplace. We recognise that problems of this nature can be diverse and there’s rarely a ‘one size fits all’ solution for everyone. We work with individual businesses and organisations to identify gaps in knowledge and provide the right training needed to minimise any problems caused by a lack of mental health awareness. Contact us today to find the right solutions for your business.