What is Mental Health First Aid?

November 7, 2018
| United Kingdom

Good mental health has a positive impact on business performance, enabling employees to be healthy, engaged and productive. With poor mental health costing employers between £33bn and £42bn each year in absenteeism, staff turnover and lost productivity(1), it makes good business sense to invest in supporting the mental health of your workforce.

Three out of five employees have experienced mental health issues as a result of their work over the past year. Whilst 91% of managers believe what they do affects employee wellbeing, only 24% of managers have received training in mental health.(2) Thriving at Work – The Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers recommends organisations develop mental health awareness and encourage open conversations around mental health as part of ‘mental health core standards’. 

What is Mental Health First Aid?

We all have mental health just as we all have physical health. Physical first aid is about providing help to person who is sick or injured until professional medical help arrives. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) shares the same principles. It is the help provided to a person developing a mental health issue, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health issue or in a mental health crisis. It is often provided by someone in the person’s work or social network until appropriate professional help is received or until any crisis has passed.

What are the benefits?

  • Demonstrates a commitment to care for the wellbeing of your workforce
  • Encourages people to access support early when needed, enabling faster recovery;
  • Boosts knowledge and confidence in dealing with mental health issues;
  • Empowers people with mental health issues or a disability to thrive in work;
  • Stops preventable health issues arising by building a supportive and open culture around mental health;
  • Embeds positive, long term cultural change across your organisation;
  • Increases productivity, reduces presenteeism and lost time, improving overall business performance;
  • Improves your organisation’s ability to attract and retain talent.

Download the PDF to learn about the variety of Mental Health First Aid courses we offer.




(1) Thriving at Work – The Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers, 2017.
(2) Business in the Community, 2017, Mental Health at Work report.