With the pandemic affecting our lives, mental health is becoming a more talked about topic. Did you know that 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues every year? It’s important to take care of our mental health, as it can affect our work productivity.

Training people in mental health awareness and skills to deal with mental health issues at work helps to build an open and supportive culture around mental health. It gives employees the opportunity to go to someone in the workplace if they don’t feel comfortable talking to their manager about their mental health. When employees know there’s somebody to go to with these issues, it can help prevent them from getting any worse and allow for faster recovery for the employee.

Having qualified Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders) in the workplace provides a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation to supporting the individual to get appropriate help in a crisis. MHFAiders can spot the signs of mental ill health and are valuable in providing early support for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.

We asked our first-ever MHFAider at Ucan Secure IT, Gareth Williams, about why having dedicated MHFAiders within the workplace is so important.

I want to positively raise awareness of mental illness, encourage early intervention to aid recovery and support dealing with mental illnesses at work. This crosses over into home life and with the skills I’ve learned as an MHFAider, I can be confident that the advice I offer will directly benefit people in crisis. For too long the stigma of mental health illness often stops a person from seeking help. That’s something I want to change within my own organisation over the coming months. Most companies have Physical First Aiders on site at business premises and we should add to that support with Mental Health First Aiders too. GW

We thank Gareth for his commitment to MHFAid in the workplace and will continue to establish a place of work that promotes a healthy & happy team. Look out for our July newsletter in which we provide details of our planned commitment to wellness at work for all Ucan Secure IT colleagues.

Follow Ucan Secure IT on social channels and via our website ucansecureit.com

For mental health news and campaigns visit MHFA England on social media with @MHFAEngland or visit their website at mhfaengland.org