Work Wellness Support for Implementing Mental Health First Aid
1. Key features
We help identify:
Islands of good practice developed by individuals reacting to unexpected situations, using their own instincts and initiative.
Organisational barriers to making good practice standardised and repeatable.
We help define the repeatable standards and procedures which help colleagues feel safe and supported both in seeking and delivering mental health first aid.
We help raise awareness of the mental health first aid programme, helping ensure colleagues and the company derive maximum return on the investment.
The support contract is normally priced at a consultancy day rate. If the scope and brief is clear enough then it is possible to agree a fixed price.
2. Step by step guide
Implementation support will guide you through the full lifecycle of Mental Health First Aid implementation in your organisation. We will agree and work to a defined plan.
Click on a step below to view more detail.
The support contract is normally priced at a consultancy day rate. If the scope and brief is clear enough then it is possible to agree to a fixed price for delivery.
With the commercials agreed, we will work through your appointed contacts to start delivering benefits. They will normally be:
- A trained or candidate Champion; a senior decision maker with authority to help keep the programme on track.
- One or more of your trained or candidate First Aiders (internal subject matter experts and resource investigators).
There will be different ambitions for what your investment in mental health first aid will deliver; from falling flat on its face to “world beating”. So it is essential to take a short amount of time to define what success will look like. Three inputs will help create this definition:
- Current state assessment, ambitions and investment appetite of the key stakeholders in your organisation.
- Two hour practice workshop(s) with your trained or candidate Mental Health First Aiders and Champions. An opportunity for them to meet and share their experiences; good and bad.
- Work Wellness experience across other organisations and practitioners and trends in good practice and regulation.
Gaining agreement to this definition from key stakeholders is important, but in our experience, it shouldn’t sit on the critical path and slow down progress.
- What Policies are already in place and would benefit from amendment and what gaps need to be addressed through new Policies?
- What are the existing methods for communicating mental health support to employees?
- What in-house promotion already exists to raise mental health awareness, e.g., an events calendar, use of 3rd parties and materials (lots of good materials are available free for re-use)?
Where we define; rules, standards and responsibilities, e.g.,
- Expectations and boundaries of the relevant roles (Employees, First Aiders, Champions, Mental Health aware colleagues).
- The appropriate mix of: Mental Health First Aiders, Champions and Aware colleagues and the ideal candidates for these roles from amongst your workforce.
- How and when employees should seek Mental Health First Aid.
- Disclosure: protecting confidentiality whilst also protecting the safety of the employee, other employees and the legal and moral obligations of the organisation.
Our recommendations will be “implementation ready”; the Policies will have already been written and the promotion event calendar will have already been planned.
We can commence implementation as soon as agreement to proceed is confirmed by Policy and Budget owners.
We will work through your appointed contact (typically one of your First Aiders or Champions) to deliver Policy standards and expectations including:
- Recruit and train your Mental Health First Aiders and Champions.
- Announce the First Aiders and Champions to your workforce
- Ongoing communication of mental health support and signposting to support services, e.g., on induction, in staff handbook, on company intranet and notice boards.
- Agree the timing, media and content of promotional events, ensuring we leverage the national awareness calendar, e.g., Mental Health Awareness Week, Time to Talk Day, World Mental Health Day.
- Manage and coordinate experience and good practice knowledge sharing among the Mental Health First Aiders and Champions.
We will review the adequacy of Policies and feed conclusions back into the benchmark standards, e.g., Do the standards need to be re-calibrated? Is there more work to be done to achieve the standards?
We will review the success of promotional activities to improve the timing, content and execution of promotional events.
3. Why invest
3.1. The costs of getting mental health first aid implementation wrong.
Restore. The costs of sickness absence management:
- 31% of all fit notes issued by English GPs during 2015-2017 were for mental health conditions, with the proportion increasing by 14% during the period1.
- In 60% of instances, work is identified as a contributing factor. However, 27% state that their employer provides no support for mental health.
Restore. The costs of legal claims:
- Most valid claims against an employer’s failure to prevent, protect and restore are settled before they get to Employment Tribunal (ET). However, the total number of ET cases alleging discrimination increased by 11% from 6,511 (in 2019) to 7,211 (on 2020) with discrimination based upon mental health increasing as a proportion. ETs made 71 awards for disability discrimination with the largest award being £265,719.
3.2. The benefits of getting mental health first aid implementation right:
A frequently referenced 2020 study by Deloitte2 found that every £1 invested in:
- Restore (improving ability to react to instances of ill-health) generated a return of £3.
- Prevent (reducing instances of ill-health through management training and policies) generated a return of £5.
- Promote (employee health education and awareness) generated a return of £6.
2011 research allocated a score of between 1 and 5 to a number of UK companies based upon the mental wellness of their employees. It found that increasing the score by one point was correlated with an 8% increase in company productivity.
A 2017 Public Health England study measured a 13% reduction in workplace stress by giving their Occupational Health Service the option of referring employees for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Significant positive impacts on mental health were seen in 46% of those who received CBT.
A 2014 study published by Public Health England found that anti-stigma campaigns increased the number of employees accessing specialist depression treatment services which in turn generated savings of £421 per employee in sickness absence management costs.
- Mental health and behavioural conditions account for nearly one-in-three known fit notes. NHS Digital. October 2019.
- Mental health and employers. Refreshing the case for investment. Deloitte. Jan 2020.