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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Does your business need a mental health first aider?

    Does your business need a mental health first aider?

    Posted on October 30th, 2023

    If a team member were to injure themselves in the workplace, employers should be confident their staff would know where to find a first aid kit, who they should inform, or who they should call for medical assistance or emergency help. But if one of your team members was having a mental health crisis at work, would your staff know how to help? If you’re unsure how they would handle such a situation, it’s time to seriously consider appointing a mental health first aider. Read on as the Occupational Health experts at YourGP explain why…

    Why mental health in the workplace matters

    Modern workplaces can be stressful places. Deadlines, responsibilities, targets and workloads can weigh heavy on employees’ shoulders if not carefully managed. Other potential stressors may include:

    • Lack of clarity about job role and responsibilities
    • Inadequate resources, tools, and training
    • Work overload and pressure to meet targets
    • Job insecurity
    • Long working hours
    • Bullying
    • Poor communication with colleagues and management
    • Lack of control and exclusion from decision-making

    How a mental health first aider could benefit your business

    There has been a positive shift in recent years with more and more businesses understanding that protecting the mental health of staff is just as important as safeguarding their physical wellbeing. There are also many examples of businesses that are actively fostering a culture of openness and inclusion when it comes to mental health. However, more needs to be done.

    One way that businesses can show their commitment to promoting positive mental health is by appointing a mental health first aider. By doing so, they can ensure all staff have a better understanding of mental health issues, they can be confident that they can provide vital help if and when necessary, and they can help to avoid any mental health issues escalating as a result of not being properly addressed.

    As a result, staff can feel safer and more valued, knowing that their employer is investing in their health and wellbeing.

    What can a mental health first aider do?

    A mental health first aider can be any member of the team who has undergone training and acts as the first point of contact for anyone who needs to discuss a mental health issue. Examples of their responsibility could include:

    • Providing immediate help in a mental health crisis until professional help is available
    • Providing a listening ear to any staff who need to talk
    • Communicating effectively, providing non-judgemental advice or directing to appropriate external professional services
    • Providing ongoing support to those recovering from mental health problems
    • Raising awareness amongst the team about mental health and wellbeing
    • Educating the team about connections between mental health problems and alcohol and drugs, or discrimination in the workplace, for example
    • Actively promoting good mental health in and outwith the workplace

    Mental health support from YourGP

    The Occupational Health team at YourGP can provide bespoke packages to suit your business needs, supporting your in-house mental health first aider. And we can also provide regular on-site clinics if your staff would prefer to speak to one of our medical professionals about any mental health concerns.

    To find out more, contact our Occupational Health team on 0131 225 5656 or email and we will be happy to discuss ways you can proactively safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of your team.

    Related: Mental health in the workplace

    I was directed to YourGP by my health insurance when traveling on Scotland. I was with intense pain on my feet and had an appointment with Dr Doogan, and what an incredible doctor she is!

    She explained everything with the most detail and patience possible, listened even with more patience and care, it’s so rare nowadays seeing passionate doctors for their jobs like Dr Doogan.

    Thiago G

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