How can mental health first aiders assist in behavioural health and safety?

Many workplaces have invested heavily in improving their performance when it comes to managing mental health in the workplace. A lot of research has been conducted which has outlined the impact mental health can have on the number of accident rates, death rates and productivity within an organisation.

The ‘mental health first aider’ is an example of a physical change that many health and safety departments have made to tackle the growing challenges faced in many industries. Here are some of the ways that mental health first aiders can help encourage better behavioural safety within the workplace.

Mental health first aiders can help employees unload issues

When it comes to creating an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, a designated mental health first aiders is often a good first step to make. If employees know there is someone within the organisation that they can go to, this is often enough to lower their mental burden. If employees feel less stressed, this will often lead to them exhibiting healthy safety behaviours like for example, speaking up when they see open hazards.

Happier employees will exhibit positive safety behavioural changes

Similar to previous points, if employees are happy in themselves, this can often lead to better behavioural health and safety. Happy motivated employees are often more conscientious, and this can help promote better individual changes. For example, a happy and motivated employee will often let management know when a hazard is present. Additionally, their work may also follow a safer procedure. Getting this right is particularly important in safety-critical industries like oil, gas and construction.

The visibility of mental health first aiders can help workers feel supported

Having mental health first aiders who have strong visibility in the organisation is often enough to make employees feel more supported. This can be done through the distribution of lanyards, jackets and potentially hardhats. It is also important to make sure mental health first aiders know that they can ‘switch off’ from their added duties if they need to. This is why it is important to make sure they have something on them that identifies when they are ‘on duty’ or not.

Find out more about the ways to implement mental health first aiders

Getting the implementation of mental health first aiders is crucial as if not done correctly, it can often appear to just be another corporate policy that does not actually encourage any real change. Make sure you research all the relevant sources of information on the subject to help you implement mental health first aiders successfully.