Secondly, it should be clear from this that MHFA England training is just one part of a wider approach to health and wellbeing. Often referred to as a ‘whole organisation’ approach, this wider strategy should include a preventative culture, combined with intervention approaches and clear pathways to further support.
As employers take stock of this enhanced guidance, the question that many are asking is, ‘Where do I start?’
Many employers tell us they want to get it right but are not sure where to begin. We know from 10 years of working with organisations that, with the right support and information, all employers can take active steps to promote the wellbeing of their people, of which MHFA programmes will only be one part.
This is why MHFA England last month launched new best-practice guidance for employers on how to implement Mental Health First Aiders as part of a ‘whole organisation’ approach. Developed in collaboration with leading employers, PwC, Royal Mail, Thames Water, and Three UK, the guidance brings together industry expertise alongside a decade of experience implementing our training in workplaces of all shapes and sizes.
It covers laying the groundwork for implementing an MHFA programme, through to evaluating other supports in place. It also provides information on creating a bespoke policy and role document for Mental Health First Aiders, advice on their recruitment and promotion, as well as supporting and developing individuals in their roles.
Publication of Enhanced Guidance
Alongside this, we have published enhanced guidance for employees on carrying out their role, including how best to engage with their employer.
With these guides, we want to support employers and employees to understand all the components of effectively implementing MHFA England training in the workplace, whilst allowing for flexibility in how this is carried out.
As well as taking action on the HSE’s enhanced guidance, we hope to help more employers understand how to practically implement the core standards for a mentally health workplace, as set out in the Government’s Thriving at Work review.
Having room to manoeuvre is crucial but anchoring our strategies to these clear and accessible criteria is equally important. And though it is just one part of putting these into practice, MHFA England training can directly support employers to implement two of these standards; raising mental health awareness and encouraging conversation about the support available.
So, with clear guidance and standards like these, there is no excuse for failing to take concrete action on mental health in construction in 2019. And with the breadth of resources available today, it is within everyone’s grasp.