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Health & Fit How Companies Teach Their Employees First Aid for Mental Health

00:05  13 february  2020
00:05  13 february  2020 Source:   time.com

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More and more employers are offering their employees mental health first - aid training, both to improve employee health and to save money. Half of them had been given cards naming a physical or mental health diagnosis and were told to line up, from the least debilitating to the most.

Mental Health First Aid is a national program to teach the skills to respond to the signs of mental Mental Health First Aid training has taught the officer to ask his charges, “What happened As adults, we sometimes forget how hard it was being an adolescent. When we see a kid who is just

Related Video: Mental Health First Aid at Work (Provided by Time)

At Delta Air Lines’ Atlanta headquarters in late January, 24 employees are arguing over which of them has the worst disease. Half of them had been given cards naming a physical or mental health diagnosis and were told to line up, from the least debilitating to the most.

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Mental Health First Aid is a training program that teaches members of the public how to help a person developing a mental health problem (including a substance use problem), experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.

Good health is good business—and that includes mental health . Mental Health First Aid at Work teaches employees critical communication and support skills that impact your company ’s The training can be customized to fit into the following formats and more: How do we design your training?

The woman holding “gingivitis” quickly takes a place at the far left of the line. But everyone further down to the right—low back pain, moderate depression, paraplegia, severe PTSD—keeps switching spots.

“Severe vision loss,” someone says to the man holding the corresponding card. “Are you a pilot?” He doesn’t know. There is no further information: not what the person does for a living, whether their condition is well managed, or if they have health care coverage.

“We’re in a pickle down here,” a woman pleads to the instructor, Rochele Burnette, who’s standing by, silent and smiling. Burnette waits until someone finally suggests the right answer: They should be in a vertical line, not a horizontal one. “How we look at a mental disorder and how we look at a physical condition should be the same,” Burnette says. “One could be just as debilitating as the other.”

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Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of − Percentage increase in employees who would feel comfortable speaking to their line manager about mental health . − Number of critical incident forms

Mental Health First Aid is appropriate for a variety of professionals working in primary and behavioral healthcare integration settings. The training can help those who regularly engage with individuals who may experience mental health challenges and is most appropriate for audiences with no prior training

This is the first lesson of Mental Health First Aid at Work, a training that the National Council for Behavioral Health provides, for a cost, to a growing number of corporations. Of the people taking today’s class, some were there because they had seen firsthand how much a mental health crisis can impact the workplace. A Delta employee killed himself several months ago, and counselors were brought in to help the many people who were affected. Others wanted to improve their mental-health vocabulary, and their confidence in handling related issues. “When someone says, ‘Hi, do you have a minute?’ we never really know what’s going to follow,” one HR employee says in the class. “Sometimes it’s very easy, and sometimes we quickly find ourselves in uncomfortable situations.”

Over the next four hours, the Delta employees learn how to spot symptoms and warning signs of possible mental health concerns in a colleague, reach out and offer initial help, then guide them to professional help and the resources the company offers, like short-term counseling through the free employee assistance program (EAP) and a confidential app that lets you chat immediately with behavioral health coaches. Getting the words right can be tricky; much of the class is devoted to figuring out what to say to a coworker in distress. On everybody’s desk is a handout of helpful and harmful phrases. “One of the things you’ll see on your card is How are you doing, really?” says Burnette. “That ‘really’ really pulls out something extra.” In the potentially harmful category: putting off the conversation until later in the week, suggesting they simply work it out with their manager, or telling them to “just hang in there.”

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A mental health first aid programme trains employees to recognise the signs of mental health It’ll teach them to provide initial support to colleagues experiencing mental health problems until they Health Assured offer mental health first aid training courses. Their trainer’s use the Mental Health

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidenced-based public education program that teaches people how to help someone with a mental health problem or MHFA Trainings- Open to the Public Classes. For organizations/ companies /schools interested in setting up a MHFA training at their site, fill out this

The office may seem an unlikely place for such a class, but Burnette reminds her students that the historical norm to keep your personal life at home is unrealistic. “What affects you in your life affects you in your work,” she tells the group.

There are no requirements that U.S. employers provide mental health training. But as mental illness diagnoses and suicide rates rise in the U.S., while the stigma of talking about them drops, companies are finding that their employees want a bigger focus on mental health at work. “A little over a year ago, we really started to hear more and more from employees about the need for these kinds of services,” says Rob Kight, senior vice president of human resources at Delta. “It caused us to take a deep look at what we were providing. And we decided, you know, it’s not enough.”

Prioritizing employees’ mental health has become not just a moral issue, but also a tool to recruit and retain young talent. A 2019 poll by the American Psychiatric Association found that millennials—who now comprise the largest generation in the U.S. workforce—tend to be more comfortable than their older peers discussing their mental health at work. Investing in this area may also make financial sense, since untreated mental illness and substance abuse issues can be costly for employers. Untreated depression alone costs the average 1,000-person U.S. company more than $1.4 million per year due to missed days and lost productivity, according to the Center for Workplace Mental Health at the American Psychiatric Association Foundation.

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Workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to There are many risk factors for mental health that may be present in the working environment. Some jobs may carry a higher personal risk than others (e.g. first responders and humanitarian

Mental Health First Aid is a course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aiders are anyone who wants to make their community healthier , happier and safer for all.

Corporate trainings have emerged as popular solutions, and Mental Health First Aid at Work is among the most widely used. Mental Health First Aid started in 2000 in Australia as a way to educate people about what to do when they encounter someone experiencing mental health problems, which are much more common than the emergencies traditional first aid courses teach. It later spread to 27 countries, each with their own licensing organizations. In the U.S., the National Council for Behavioral Health runs the program, and in 2013 it launched a version tailored for the workplace. More than 200 companies—including Bank of America, Gillette, Starbucks and Unilever—have offered one or both of its four- and eight-hour training programs to employees, says Betsy Schwartz, vice president for public education and strategic initiatives at the National Council for Behavioral Health.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in corporate interest,” Schwartz says. “In companies that train a larger number of employees, we get feedback about a whole culture shift.” Though there hasn’t been much research on the work-specific training, some studies have found that Mental Health First Aid improves knowledge about mental health, and confidence in responding to related issues, for the people who take it. The benefits to the person receiving help from a person who’s gone through the training, however, are not clear.

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Mental Health First Aid programs are an important part of a holistic wellness strategy. Yet few organizational leaders choose to educate their workforces about mental illness, a set of First - aid training for physical conditions uses easy-to-remember acronyms such as ABC (airway, breathing

Related: How I Put My Mental Health First (and How You Can Too). "My story is a story that ultimately included my wife taking her own life. Laurie Brednich, CEO of HR Company Store, LLC in Phoenix, held training classes to teach managers how to identify and appropriately support employees with

The number of organizations that run this type of training is growing. The Center for Workplace Mental Health at the American Psychiatric Association Foundation is developing a digital training for managers called “Notice. Talk. Act. at Work,” which teaches the early warning signs of mental health issues and how to have empathetic, compassionate conversations. “We cannot talk about mental health enough in the workplace,” says Darcy Gruttadaro, director of the Center for Workplace Mental Health. “We have a long way to go—the more we can reinforce it, the better.” Some companies have developed their own programs. The consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton trained all employees in 2018 and 2019 to spot the five signs of emotional suffering—depression, in other words. The professional services firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young) offers digital training to help employees recognize the signs that a colleague is struggling and connect them to company resources.

Merely offering services and resources isn’t always enough. Employees have to know about and trust them. Most large companies have a free EAP, for example, which typically offers short-term counseling sessions and other wellbeing services for employees and their family members through outside providers. But even when people are aware that their company has an EAP, they often fear their HR department is monitoring who uses the programs, and that doing so could be a black mark on their employment record. As a result, many studies show that EAPs have historically been underused. “There shouldn’t be, but there is a stigma around this that exists in our country,” says Kight. “We have to help break that down and let people know that it’s okay to take advantage of these services.”

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Mental Health First Aid is a course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use How do I find a Mental Health First Aid course near me? Search for courses near you here.

Mental Health First Aid at Work is a mental health training program that teaches participants how to notice and support an individual who may be experiencing a mental Teaches employees how to connect a distressed person with the appropriate resources, in accordance with company policies.

Soon, the two dozen Delta employees in today’s training will join the more than 600 who have completed Mental Health First Aid at Work since the airline started offering it in 2019. Though it’s not mandatory, the goal is for all 90,000 employees to take it, according to Delta’s HR team.

After Burnette gives the students a lesson in what to do if a coworker is having a panic attack, she ends on a hopeful note: proven ways a person can help themselves feel better. Exercise is one, and so are sleep, relaxation and 12-step programs. “But let me tell you something about this one right here,” she says, pointing to a slide on family, friends, faith and other social networks. “When you know you have people you can talk to that are nonjudgmental—I can go to you and have the conversation, and no matter what, you’ll listen—people have had better outcomes, because they have support.”

“I want to speak to that, because I’ve been thinking about how I can articulate this,” says a young man sitting in the front row. “Very early on in life, I found myself trying to remove stigma around mental health and talk about it, because I saw it in my family. It made me say to myself, I don’t want this to happen to me, so how can I make it normal? I started to talk to my friends and people that I’m close with. I say, hey guys, let’s get together and have drinks, and talk about what’s really going on.”

There’s no reason why conversations like these can’t happen in the workplace, too, the new thinking goes. “We’ve all grown up thinking certain conversations are professional and certain conversations are not professional,” Burnette says. “We bring our whole selves to work, so why can’t we talk about our whole self?”


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