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Each year, mental illness costs Australian workplaces $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $1.6 billion in presenteeism, and $146 million in compensation claims. With COVID-19 also impacting the mental health and wellbeing of employees, employers must adapt to the mental health needs of the workplace.
Appointing mental health first aid officers within a workplace can help to strengthen a supportive workplace culture, improve retention and engagement, and reduce legal risk. Workplace MHFA officers are equipped with the necessary skills to recognise a change in the mental health of employees or where an employee is experiencing a mental health crisis and to take appropriate action. Ideally, large businesses should have several MHFA officers to increase awareness of mental health issues and promote early intervention.
The blended mental health first aid for workplaces course is delivered through a combination of online, eLearning and two follow-on interactive online sessions with Belinda Winter, a partner in our workplace relations and safety team. Belinda is a unique trainer in that she is able to bridge the gap between the MHFA training and the workplace laws and show how they relate and affect each other.
Participants begin by completing an interactive self-paced eLearning component that presents an overview of mental health problems, including:
- substance abuse.
The component also covers mental health crises, including:
- suicidal thoughts and behaviours
- panic attacks
- traumatic events
- severe psychotic states
- severe effects from alcohol or drug use
- aggressive behaviours.
It is compulsory that the eLearning component of the course is completed BEFORE participants can attend the face-to-face sessions.
The face-to-face sessions are delivered after participants have completed the eLearning component. The training sessions will be delivered online in two sessions, both two hours in duration. 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 on ‘where to from now’ for mental health first aid skills in the workplace.
16 & 23 February 2022 – Blended mental health first aid for workplaces
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