In 2023, looking after our mental health is as important as looking after our physical health.
A mental health first aider in the workplace is very important, they can play a key part in supporting colleagues and create an environment where mental health can be openly recognised and spoken about.
At Aspire we believe it is important to continue improving our workplace for mental health, and ensure our colleagues feel comfortable discussing their feelings, and having open and honest conversations about their thoughts and mental health with someone who understands and cares.
Our four mental health first aider’s, Chris Sewards (Dementia Lead), Joanne Gammack (Head of Service for Older People and Community), Helen Dandy (Clinical Lead) and Marney Jevons (Admin Assistant) all have the characteristics of being approachable, non-judgemental, patient and a caring.
Whether they provide you with guidance, or simply offer a listening ear over a coffee and cake, they are always there to help!
A mental health first aider is not known as an ‘expert’ but it is about them being an advocate and a listening ear for their colleagues.
The responsibilities of a mental health first aider:
- Recognising a colleague acting differently
- Recognising the warning signs of mental health
- Practicing self-care and ensuring to look after their own physical and mental health
- Provide a listening ear
- Encourage health, wellbeing, and positivity
- Encourage staff to look after their colleagues and check in with one another
- Educate colleagues about further support and signpost them if necessary to the appropriate place such as informative websites, therapy, support groups or their GP
The benefits of having mental health first aiders in the workplace.
- Reduces stigma of mental health
- Promotes positivity
- Raises awareness about mental health
- Educates colleagues about the signs of mental health
- Creates a supportive network
- Encourage colleagues to seek their right support, which can help long term
- Nurture a healthy and happy workforce
Lisa, our CEO has shared why it is important to her to have Mental Health First aiders in our company – “Adult social care is a rewarding career, but it can be demanding both physically and emotionally. As responsible employers we provide training in areas like moving and handling to ensure people can work without injury, but it’s equally important that we develop a culture that prioritises mental health and well-being.
Mental health first aid at work isn’t intended to replace appropriate healthcare, but it does provide essential basic support, advice, and reassurance. I am proud that Aspire has invested in professionally trained mental health first aiders and I would encourage anyone who has any concerns about their own mental health, or who feels they need workplace support to work to get in touch.”