We generally think of first aid as an ability to respond to physical health issues, and provide timely support in the workplace. Yet due to a number of growing pressures, the need to address mental health concerns at work is being much more widely recognised. The pandemic and its associated financial difficulties have driven this into overdrive, and made the happiness of employees a paramount concern for many more businesses.
First Aid for Mental Health training offers an equivalent to traditional first aid training, and provides learners with the skills they need to recognise and address mental health concerns. First Aid for Mental Health training is useful both in the workplace and in daily life, and helps to provide greater insight into mental health conditions, and compassion for people who have them.
With three main courses, however, it may be hard to know exactly what the differences are, and which course you or your employees should take. Here then is a breakdown of the mental health first aid courses we offer, and how each one can help you to provide better mental health support – and even change your workplace culture.
Level 1 Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health
Ideal for: all employees without management or supervisory roles
The Level 1 Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health course is an ideal starting point for mental health in your organisation. In a short half day session, learners on this course receive a primer in common mental health conditions, and an appreciation of why mental health is so important to our general wellbeing.
To change the mental health culture of an organisation, you first have to ensure that people throughout the organisation take mental health seriously. The Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health course does exactly that – increases people’s awareness of mental health issues, and how they impact on people at work.
The Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health course is only a basic introduction to the topic, but it is a great way to broach the subject of mental health at work, and give employees a baseline from which to make further improvements. This simple step can help to start conversations and create a more open and supportive culture, all of which will help the business in the long term.
Level 2 First Aid for Mental Health
Ideal for: employees looking to gain or develop health & safety responsibilities, e.g. designated first aiders
The Level 2 First Aid for Mental Health course is in many ways the ‘standard’ mental health first aid course. Going beyond the basics of mental health awareness, the Level 2 course teaches learners how to recognise mental health issues, and to provide the sufferer with a pathway to effective treatment.
The Level 2 First Aid for Mental Health course can be seen as the mental health equivalent to a regular First Aid course. As well as providing the background for mental health issues – and expanding on the conditions covered in the Level 1 course – it also empowers people to identify these issues, and take action to provide appropriate support.
This course can be taken by anyone, and is a more comprehensive version of the Level 1 course, though it is often not seen as necessary for every employee. Instead, the Level 2 course is ideal for training designated mental health first aiders, who can act as both a point of contact for mental health concerns, and a form of ‘mental health triage’ should issues arise.
Level 3 Supervising First Aid for Mental Health
Ideal for: managers, supervisors and business leaders
The Level 3 Supervising First Aid for Mental Health course is the most advanced first aid course offered by SAMS. Intended for individuals in positions of influence within a business, the Level 3 course is centred on improving your workplace mental health culture. While you will learn the skills covered in the Level 1 and 2 course, its primary role is to drive change at the highest levels of governance, and have this permeate through the business.
Level 3 Supervising First Aid for Mental Health learners receive a comprehensive grounding in a range of mental health conditions, from anxiety and depression to psychosis and schizophrenia. Beyond this, you’ll learn how to draft and implement a mental health action plan for your workplace, putting the structures in place to improve the culture around mental health. You’ll also have the skills to identify mental health problems, and provide appropriate support and guidance.
Any First Aid for Mental Health course will teach you important life skills, and can be taken by anyone over the age of 16. While having a single person in an organisation with Mental Health First Aid training will make the difference, more certified Mental Health First Aiders will give you better coverage for mental health issues, and a better understanding of and empathy for individuals with mental health problems.
SAMS offers all of our Mental Health First Aid training courses either as classroom or online variants, and can also provide training at your workplace. To learn more about our courses or book today, visit our course pages through the links above. Alternatively, get in touch to find out how we can help your business to improve attitudes around mental health.