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Blended mental health first aid (MHFA) training for workplaces

Mental illness costs Australian workplaces $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $1.6 billion in presenteeism and $146 million in compensation claims annually. Ignoring the mental health of employees makes no business sense.

More and more workplaces are beginning to voluntarily appoint mental health first aid officers alongside their physical first aid officers to provide better early support for employees experiencing a mental health problem or crisis.

The Blended Mental Health First Aid for workplaces course is designed for workplaces that require increased flexibility in the delivery of training for their staff members. The course is a combination of online (eLearning) and a half day of follow-on face-to-face training.

The course teaches managers, supervisors and individuals how to assist a co-worker who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Course content is tailored to the workplace setting using case-studies, videos and resources tailored to the participants learning needs. However course participants will learn mental health first aid skills that can be applied to help any adult.

Course participants first complete the interactive self-paced eLearning component that presents an overview of mental health problems and mental health crises. The follow-on face-to-face training then allows participants the opportunity to revise and consolidate skills in a group environment, and to address mental health problems in the workplace in more depth.

Why our MHFA courses are different to other providers

Cooper Grace Ward’s MHFA courses are facilitated by partner Belinda Winter, a market recognised leader in employment law and workplace relations. Belinda’s extensive experience means you get a broader perspective of mental health, including the intersection between mental health and other aspects of employment law and workplace health and safety. More about Belinda below.

Our in-depth courses go beyond accreditation and provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to properly manage and support mental health in the workplace.

The eLearning component covers

Identifying mental health problems, including:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • psychosis
  • substance abuse

Mental health crises, including:

  • suicidal thoughts and behaviours
  • panic attacks
  • traumatic events
  • severe psychotic states
  • severe effects from alcohol or drug use
  • aggressive behaviours.

The half-day face-to-face session covers

The face-to-face training is designed to be delivered after participants have completed the eLearning component. Participants are not eligible to attend the face-to-face session unless they have first completed the eLearning component.

In the face-to-face training, the focus is on the revision and application of knowledge and skills learnt in the eLearning component, providing participants the opportunity to:

  • examine issues pertinent to mental health problems in the workplace in more depth
  • clarify any points of uncertainty remaining after completion of the eLearning modules
  • apply the MHFA Action Plan to relevant workplace scenarios
  • discuss and reflect ‘a where to from now’ in using mental health first aid skills in the workplace.

About Belinda Winter

Belinda is a partner in our workplace relations and safety team, specialising in employment, industrial relations, discrimination and safety law.  She provides strategic advice to employers about various matters including restructures, enforcing restraints of trade, managing long term ill and injured employees, employee misconduct, poor performance and effecting termination of employment.

Belinda is a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor with Mental Health First Aid Australia and runs regular training courses on Standard Mental Health First Aid. She is also on the Queensland Law Society Wellness Committee and regularly delivers industry training to legal professionals on mental health in the workplace. Belinda is also a regular speaker at industry events on the topics of mental illness in the workplace and the management of ill and injured employees.

Belinda runs regular training courses on Standard Mental Health First Aid at our Brisbane office which is open to all participants. If you are interested in an internal training session for your nominated representatives, workplace or organisation please contact [email protected] for a quote.

What course participants have told us

“Mental health is an area we often overlook in our interactions with people. The course gave us a great deal of information and strategies to reflect on and use with people who may be struggling – without always assuming it’s a performance issue.”

“I thought Belinda Winter was very good. She was open to questions and opinions from others and I would strongly recommend others to do this course with Belinda. It is a much needed course I think for everyone to do as I have more knowledge about mental illness now.”

“Belinda is a great instructor! She is extremely knowledgeable and completely approachable. She listened to everyone and made everyone feel comfortable.”