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First Aid for Mental Health.

What is Mental Health?

A colleague having a supportive conversation.
A supportive conversation.

Understanding Mental Health.

Statistics indicate that one in four individuals will encounter a mental health challenge during their lifetime. Though common, most issues are mild and temporary, treatable through therapeutic interventions, medication, self-help strategies, or a combination thereof. Mental health encompasses our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Prominent among mental health concerns are anxiety and depression, often stemming from life's challenges like loss or work-related stress.

Work-related stress, when prolonged, can result in both physical and psychological repercussions, including anxiety and depression. Existing conditions may also be exacerbated by work-related factors, intensifying symptoms. Employers bear a legal obligation to aid their staff, whether work-induced or aggravated. Rigorous assessment of work-related mental health issues is imperative to gauge risks to employees. Identified risks necessitate mitigation measures to ensure a safe environment.

Navigating First Aid for Mental Health.

First Aid for Mental Health entails initial assistance extended to an individual grappling with a mental health issue until professional intervention or crisis resolution. Acknowledging the importance of workplace mental health, the UK government commissioned Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer (Chief Executive of Mind) to review the role of employer support. Their 'Thriving at Work' report introduces 'Core Standards,' recommended actions applicable to all businesses. These standards empower employers to foster a mentally healthy workspace and empower individuals with mental health concerns to flourish.

The aims of First Aid for Mental Health:

  • Preserve life where a person could be a danger to themselves or others.

  • Alleviate suffering by providing immediate comfort and support. 

  • Prevent the condition from developing into a more serious problem. 

  • Promote recovery of good mental health by signposting and obtaining professional support.

What is Mental Health?" | Mental Health at Work

Becoming a First Aider for Mental Health

Becoming a First Aider for Mental Health involves enrolling in a certified training programme. The training typically covers various mental health conditions, starting a conversation, Mental Health in the workplace, and effective communication techniques. These programmes aims to reduce stigma, increase awareness, and empower people to offer assistance until professional help is available. Just as CPR training equips us to assist someone experiencing cardiac arrest, First Aid for Mental Health empowers us to respond appropriately to mental health struggles.

Key Components of First Aid for Mental Health.

  1. Recognising the Signs: First Aid for Mental Health training helps participants identify common signs of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. Recognising these signs is the first step towards offering support.

  2. Active Listening: Just being present and truly listening can make a significant difference. First Aid for Mental Health teaches active listening skills, enabling individuals to create a safe space for someone to express their feelings.

  3. Offering Assistance: The goal of First Aid for Mental Health is not to diagnose, but to provide initial support. Participants learn how to engage with someone in distress, offer reassurance, and provide information about available resources.

  4. Guidance on Professional Help: While First Aid for Mental Health equips participants to provide immediate aid, it emphasises the importance of seeking professional help. Training includes information on available mental health resources and how to encourage someone to access them.


First Aid for Mental Health is a powerful approach to creating a society that values and supports mental well-being. By investing in this training, individuals can play a crucial role in reducing stigma, offering timely assistance, and creating a more empathetic world. Just as we learn basic first aid to help with physical injuries, let's prioritise equipping ourselves with the skills to provide mental health first aid – because a little understanding and compassion can go a long way in making a positive impact on someone's life.

Interested in learning more? You can book onto one of our First Aid for Mental Health courses by emailing

Kind regards,

Slanjava Learning

-slàinte mhath-

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