Is it beneficial for all Line Managers and HR Managers to have Mental Health Awareness training?

Is it beneficial for all Line Managers and HR Managers to have Mental Health Awareness training?

Absolutely. Early intervention and support can prevent mental ill health from progressing to crisis point and can save companies a great deal of money too. A study conducted by the Health and Safety Executive states that in 2017/18 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 57% of all working days lost due to ill health.

In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

Yet less than a quarter of line managers have received any mental health awareness training.

The Mental Health at Work report 2017 highlights ‘some significant improvement in attitudes towards mental health in the workplace. 84% of employers acknowledge that they have a responsibility towards their employee’s mental wellbeing, 91% of managers agree that what they do affects the wellbeing of their staff. However, despite this, less than a quarter (24%) of managers have received any training in mental health. There also remains a pervasive culture of silence over mental health at work.’

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, ‘there is still stigma and misunderstanding about mental health in society and the workplace. Increasing awareness of mental health issues across the workforce can help break the silence and start to build a more open and inclusive culture. Managers need to feel confident and competent to have conversations with staff about sensitive issues like mental health and signpost to specialist sources of support if necessary. HR should ensure that employees know how to access the support provided by the organisation even if they don’t wish to disclose an issue to their manager.

As well as having a framework to support people if they experience poor mental health, it’s essential to promote good mental health throughout the workforce. Investing in employee well-being is the right thing to do, and it also enhances employee engagement and productivity, which in turn supports business growth.’

No matter how well employees are managed, some people will experience poor mental health in the workplace. Spotting the signs of stress or poor mental health at an early stage means managers can hopefully nip problems in the bud before they escalate into a crisis or sickness absence.

In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland. In the UK, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49. Statistics on reported road casualties in Great Britain for the year ending June 2018 shows there were 1,770 reported road deaths which, although still too high, is a significant drop from the 3409 road deaths in 2000. Investments in improved safety measures and publicity campaigns have been effective and I hope that with greater awareness, learning how to spot early signs and improved support, that the amount of people with mental ill-health and the suicide rates will reduce significantly too.

I am a licensed trainer for MHFA England whose courses are currently the only accredited Mental Health training courses -Royal Society of Public Health.

If you recognise how Mental Health training could benefit you and your workplace then book on to one of my scheduled courses by visiting my website The  2-day course will give you a qualification of Mental Health First Aider and you will receive an in depth manual too. If you would like more information or would like to discuss in-house training, please message me or give me a call 07708238929.

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