22 Feb The Importance Of Mental Health First Aid
The results of the Corvid-19 pandemic are still reverberating around both physical and mental health issues. In this blog, we are addressing mental health difficulties, not mental illnesses. A mental illness is further along the spectrum of mental health problems. Learning mental health first aid is not asking you to be a psychiatrist, just a more aware, informed coworker and friend that can offer assistance at that moment in time. CPN Training, offer mental health first aid training in Devon.
Fear of Mental Health Issues!
Fear is a massive contributor to the stigma of mental health issues. This fear of being seen to have mental health problems is often a collection of feelings and thoughts that you might identify with, like
- The feeling like you are not in control
- Afraid you are ‘losing your marbles’ or ‘going crazy’
- A sense of being out of step with those around you
- Feeling angry
These kinds of thoughts and others often lead the sufferer to feel isolated, which creates a further level of distress. As we all know, isolation and feeling alone are the precursors to depression and increased anxiety. In addition, fear of being judged often prevents a sufferer from looking or accepting help. Fear also affects those around the sufferer and can inhibit offering help and support.
Stress – Is It A Mental Health Issue?
A short question with some very long answers, but briefly stress can present with physical and psychological problems. This can vary from person to person, from mild to extremely debilitating. We all experience stress in one form or another. For some, it is easy to deal with. For others, it is an ongoing spiral of anxiety that affects the sufferer’s whole life. Stress is a significant contributing factor in mental health issues, triggering depression, anger, manic behaviour, isolation and many other symptoms. The way people handle their stress can sometimes be unhealthy; drinking too much, overeating and taking drugs are some examples.
Mental Health In The Workplace
Stress and other mental health problems, for example, grief, can significantly affect the workplace. What people are experiencing can lead to
- Lack of focus by the sufferer, diminishing their standard of work
- Loss of productivity
- A generalised atmosphere of ‘gloom’
- Irritability over inconsequential things, even angry outbursts
- Strained workplace relationships
- More sick days
Some or all of the above can lead to lowering of morale, drop in productivity, staff loss, all of which is an unhealthy working environment.
How To Improve Mental Health In The Workplace
What can you do? You can become more aware of what is happening in the workplace by attending mental health first aid training. This equips you to be responsive to signs of distress. Some of the solutions you learn involve nothing more than looking someone in the eye when you speak them. Speaking to someone in distress is important. Making time to reach out helps reduce isolation and fear. Offering a cup of coffee, just asking, ‘are you ok?’ is within all of our grasps.
Within the training programme, you will learn the positive ways to offer support. Everyone can contribute to supporting anyone with mental health issues. Learning the first steps, that is, first aid is a start. Information is an excellent way of dealing with the fear and stigma we experience, which are huge inhibitors of our ability to help.
Want to know about mental health issues in the workplace? Get in touch with us and have a chat.