On the lead up to Mental Health Awareness Week this week I have seen lots of new statistics being published for 2023 on stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace. Whilst it is much more widely spoken about now, I do still think generally more emphasis is put on our physical health rather than our mental health.

Last summer I found out on my first aid course (again, physical health focus) that the provider also carries out mental health training where you can qualify as a mental health first aider. Whilst this isn’t mandatory like first aid (yet!) for businesses to have one, it did seem like a ‘no-brainer’ for us. Therefore myself and Alan Barlow attended a two day intense course a few months ago and were awarded the Level 3 Award in Workplace Mental Health First Aiders.

Without breaking confidence, I can broadly say that I have used my mental health first aider training in the last few months a whole lot more than my physical first aid training of last year. This is why I do not find the latest statistics from Champion Health, where 6 in 10 employees are experiencing anxiety in the workplace, at all surprising – the only surprising thing is it probably more than 6!

What does make me want to keep the conversation going (hence me dusting off the cobwebs and writing this blog) is, of those 6 in 10, only 10% of employees are seeking mental health help. It may be that they do not have anyone they want to confide in, or simply do not know what help there is out there. So it does beg the question – what more can we be doing in the workplace?

We have explored this question ourselves so let me share what Morris Owen’s next plan of action is. We have arranged some awareness training for all manager level colleagues so that we can have more people with the awareness to identify colleagues who may need some support and signpost them to us as a Mental Health First Aiders.

So, is there anymore your business, or the company you work for, could be doing?