By Phillipa Wilson, Founder and MD of Premium Health

When you hear the term “first aid”, it most likely conjures up images of CPR and bandages. But although physical first aid training is vital, there are other facets that are just as important to your workforce’s wellbeing – albeit a little less obvious.

We’re talking about Mental Health First Aid. Recent years have seen the first aid world extend beyond the usual range of physical ailments to include mental health emergencies as a crucial element of workplace health and safety.

This inclusion is long overdue, given that 45% of Australian adults encounter mental health problems at some point in their lives.

Businesses are finally empowering staff with the knowledge and expertise to respond to colleagues experiencing mental health problems or mental illness – an imperative part of supporting your workplace and keeping them safe.

Mental Health First Aid vs Workplace Wellbeing

When we speak about mental health as a first aid objective, we are not only talking about general workplace wellbeing. With suicide and self-harm rates on the rise, it is important that your staff know what to do in more severe mental health emergencies.

Knowing what to do in the first few minutes of a mental health crisis requires specific training – while emergency professionals are on their way. Here at Premium Health, we are accredited to teach the country’s leading Mental Health First Aid course curriculum, developed in 2000.

The courses empower staff with mental health first aid strategies to help someone who is “developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of a mental health problem, or in a mental health crisis.”

Some of the tactics we teach can be used to resolve the crisis altogether, whilst others serve as interim support until emergency support arrives.

What skills can an Mental Health First Aid course teach your staff?

Our mental health first aid courses are built from various renowned studies that draw on the expertise of hundreds of researchers, health professionals, mental health consumer advocates around the world.

Some of the topics covered in these courses include:
• Developing mental problems
• Depression and anxiety
• Substance misuse
• Mental health crises
• Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
• Non-suicidal self injury
• Panic attacks
• Acute effects from alcohol or other drug misuse

Learning how to recognise the symptoms of these mental health problems, their potential risks and available treatments is imperative.

Most importantly, learning what appropriate actions can be taken if an emergency situation occurs involving suicidal behaviour, panic attacks, stress and shock in response to trauma, overdose or potentially dangerous psychotic behaviour is key to keeping your workplace healthy and safe.

12 hours is a small investment for peace of mind
A standard mental health first aid course only takes 12 hours, and can be taught to anyone over the age of 18. The course not only helps staff know what to do in an emergency, but also helps engage them with their own mental health, and learn tactics to realise better outcomes for themselves and the people around them.

All courses are personalised and contextualised for each workplace in order to accurately meet the unique needs of your staff.

Premium Health is  Australia’s leading authority in first aid, mental health and specialised scenario based training.

We offer a variety of first aid related courses and training, including mental health first aid training, as well as specialised first aid training, hands-on CPR and much more – at your workplace and public venues across Australia.

Do the very best for your employees by registering your interest in a first aid course with health professionals today.

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