Why your company needs mental health first aid training

Never before has mental health been more critical. Since the onset of COVID-19, companies have had to pay extra close attention to employee well-being. Mental health concerns are at all-time highs, cutting across sectors and industries. According to reports, 9 out of 10 employees struggled with lockdown-induced burnout and continue doing so. 

The pandemic irrevocably highlighted the importance of employee well-being at the workplace. Many companies provided avenues to help with employee mental health and well-being – from training and therapy to wellness apps. However, the benefits of a sustained mental health training program extend beyond coping with Coronavirus. 

We spend most of our lives and mental energies at our workplaces. With the right tools for mental health management, employees can be more engaged, focused, and productive at work regularly. Mental health training programs can vastly improve organizational health overall. 

By creating a supportive emotional space at work, companies can significantly impact their employees’ quality of life. It’s especially pertinent if your company transitioned to remote or hybrid working without adequate time to consider the potential fallouts.

If you’re still on the fence about it, here are some compelling benefits of mental health first aid training for companies. 

Normalizes conversations on mental health

Companies that offer mental health training programs reduce the stigma around asking for help. While everyone goes through depression, anxiety, and stress, most employees tend to suffer in silence. The pressure to deliver results at work can be crushing and extremely isolating.

Mental health training empowers people with the right coping tools when they are struggling. Reducing the stigma through regular mental health conversations can encourage employees to seek help. Knowing they are not alone can reduce feelings of shame or anxieties with mental-health struggles. When employees know they have safe spaces at work, they are less likely to become disengaged or withdraw.  

Enhances company culture

When companies invest in mental health, they invest in their employees. According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review, 86% of employees think company culture should support mental health. 

Implementing mental health programs demonstrates that you care for your employees. A healthy company culture supports psychological and emotional safety in the workplace. Employees need to be themselves without fear of repercussions. Higher authenticity at work means higher engagement levels. Employees will always be more invested when they feel their well-being matters to the company. 

How companies can get started

First, companies must recognize that mental health training is a necessity and not a perk. Poor employee well-being is devastating for company morale in the long run – eventually resulting in absenteeism and reduced productivity levels. The long-term costs associated with poor employee mental health are too high to overlook. 

Mental health first aid training in the workplace helps businesses anticipate and address several stressors. Organizations can take proactive approaches by starting small. Designate days to discuss various aspects of good health and safety. Ease into conversations around mental health since it’s crucial employees connect the dots between physical and psychological well-being. 

You can also consider rolling out surveys to understand the kind of mental health concerns employees may be facing. Combine the findings from the survey with an analysis of stressors specific to your company or industry. These steps can help leaders arrive at a holistic picture to address mental health concerns at their companies.