Mental health first aid is currently dominating the media thanks to a strong petition gaining traction. The petition is calling for employers to be required to have mental health first aiders, much in the same way they are required to have people trained for physical first aid needs of employees.
The petition started by Natasha Devon has reached over 200,000 signatures as at 25th October 2018 with an aim to get to 300,000 signatures. Natasha is determined to take the steps to update the Health and Safety At Work Act. The petition on Change.org outlines the difficulties Natasha has been through in her life with mental health issues being mis-diagnosed as physical issues by various professionals including doctors and teachers. Natasha states 'The workplace is where we spend most of our adult lives but unfortunately, it's also a place that...mental well-being is most neglected. We feel the need to soldier on when we are struggling with mental illness in a way we never would if we had the flu or a broken leg'. We are sure that Natasha's words will resonate with a high proportion of employees.
Currently, under the Health and Safety at Work Act, many workplaces are legally required to train someone in physical first aid ensuring that if an employee hurts themselves at work, there is someone on hand who knows what to do. Statistics show that 1 out of 4 people suffer from difficulties with mental health each year and so it is a strange concept that employers aren't obligated to look after the mental welfare of employees in the same way they are required to take care of their physical welfare.
A recent article in the Independent outlines the need for mental health first aid training in schools and the impact mental health issues are having on children like never before. Statistics show that 25% of young people admit to feeling suicidal at least once, damning but important information. Mental health issues are no longer a taboo subject and rightly so are being brought to the forefront of discussion when it comes to taking care of ourselves and others.
Here at Medical Training Solutions, we understand the importance of mental wellbeing. With this in mind, we are excited to announce that we are taking steps to be able to offer mental health first aid courses from January 2019. Keep an eye on the courses page of our website ready to secure your place at the earliest available opportunity.