Earlier this month, Taneesha and I were invited to attend a two day Mental Health First Aid course, a training programme designed to help identify, understand and support someone who may be experiencing mental health issues at work. The training, which was specifically aimed at managers who are responsible for the wellbeing of employees at work, also taught us how to recognise warning signs of mental ill-health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone who may be experiencing issues.

Over 32 million people make up the UK’s workforce and around one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year. These statistics have been growing quickly, and it’s important to remember four in four of us have mental health and this should be looked after. Though work might not be the primary cause of a mental health issue, a healthy working culture with managers who can spot early signs of mental ill-health and provide appropriate support can be key in preventing development of further or more acute issues. For many, an understanding and supportive work environment can also be an important part of recovery or management of symptoms.

A crucial take away for us was understanding that full recovery should not be seen as the only option for someone going through a mental health issue. Instead, we should focus on successful management of symptoms. By looking at mental health in this way we can remove any associated stigma and instead understand what someone is experiencing and how we can support particular issues, rather than focusing on the illness itself.
Tan and I are very proud to be fully qualified Mental Health First Aiders and look forward to continuing the efforts Rostrum makes to ensure it offers a working environment that promotes personal and professional growth.