Campaigning for Mental Health First-Aiders in the Workplace

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2018 National Disabled Members' Conference
29 June 2018

Conference, since 1981, workplaces have been required to provide adequate and appropriate first aid equipment, facilities and people, to ensure that employees can be given immediate help if they are injured or taken ill at work. Yet in 2018, there is still no requirement for employers to provide mental health first aid assistance to employees.

A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) study on the impact mental ill health can have on workers found that:

• 37% of people are more likely to get into conflict with colleagues

• 57% find it harder to juggle multiple tasks

• 62% take longer to do tasks

• 80% find it difficult to concentrate

Since 2007, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has trained over 300,000 people in Mental Health First Aid and want to train 5 million. In a survey MHFA England found that 56% of people have experienced mental health issues and that 90% of respondents feel there is still a taboo around mental health.

Conference, MHFA England are campaigning to have mental health treated in the same way as physical health, with the same provision of mental health first aiders as physical health first aiders.

We know mental health first aiders are no substitute for professional support or adequate prevention of work-related stress but believe mental health first aid is a fundamental right that should form part of a wider strategy for addressing mental health in the workplace.

Conference calls upon National Disabled Members Committee to work with the National Executive Committee (NEC) to:

1.Support the MHFA England campaign to require employers to provide mental health first aid as well as physical first aid;

2.Raise awareness of the work of MHFA England with Branches, Regions and Self Organised Groups

3.Provide opportunities for Branches to access MHFA training to officers and shop stewards