Australian employers are adapting to the growing prevalence of mental illness in the workplace and the new laws relating to the management and control of psychosocial hazards. One key aspect of support is to have trained mental health first aid officers who can act as ‘first responders’ for employees who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
Register yourself or a member of your team for our next blended mental health first aid training for workplaces course on 4 & 11 of March 2024, or read on to find out more.
Responding to mental illness in your workplace
Each year mental illness costs Australian workplaces $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $1.6 billion in presenteeism and $146 million in compensation claims. In addition, new workplace health and safety laws in most Australian jurisdictions impose more onerous obligations on employers to protect employees’ mental health.
Appointing mental health first aid officers within a workplace can help to meet compliance requirements, strengthen a supportive workplace culture, improve retention and engagement and reduce overall 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 designed for workplaces. It 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 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.
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.