How to support your mental health first aiders and your HR team

How to support your mental health first aiders and your HR team.

There is a reason why counsellors and therapists have to have support. In that world it is called supervision and their supervisors are there as a sounding board. They are there to listen and remove the burden that the work brings with it. The supervisor is, effectively, the counsellors counsellor. HERE is a guide from the BACP.

HR often takes that role in the workplace

Very often the HR team takes on the role of the counsellor in the workplace. They are seen as the ‘go to’ people when there is a problem. Over the last few years the role of a mental health first aider has developed. These mental health first aiders are trained to help someone in the moment and support them until either help arrives or they are ok to move forward themselves. 

The problem arises

One of the key reasons that a counsellor or therapist has to have a supervisor is that they can take on so much from their clients. As naturally empathetic people, they take on part of the emotional impact that a client is suffering with. Supervision helps them let go of that. The problem arises, in terms of HR and mental health first aiders, that there is no provision for supervision or something similar. Your HR team and mental health first aiders may well be taking on some of the emotional burden of others and yet have no support.

The result is they become part of the statistic

From a HR point of view, a MASSIVE 86% of HR professionals reports feeling excessive stress levels in 2021 according to THIS report. 46% of those said that their stress had increased dramatically over the previous year. 53% suffered burnout and 48% were looking for a new job. As yet, nobody is doing those types of studies on mental health first aiders. The position is too new to generate any meaningful results. However, as human beings we can take on an emotional load form others so it is only time before this comes out.

How to support your HR team and mental health first aiders

Her are a few quick tips on what you can do to ensure that your teams don’t become part of the statistics:

=> Create an internal support group.

Bring together your HR team and mental health first aiders and form a support group. Make sure they know who their support group is and share contact details. Hold regular meetings (minimum monthly) to discuss anything that anyone needs to get out. Ideally this should be run by the group and for the group. Share the responsibility. 

=> Continued self help training

As discussed in THIS article, ad-hoc training isn’t effective. Providing ongoing training for both helping others and help themselves is key to the program’s success. Online on-demand training gives your teams the opportunity to learn when they need to. An online program with tools and strategies for helping that can be accessed any time gives them the control.

=> Regular 1-2-1 check-ins

Just as with supervision for counsellors and therapists, you should provide that 1-2-1 check-in resource for your teams. Whether you training someone internally to do this or you employ the services of an outside provider, this level of support can be crucial. You should also ensure that your staff take these sessions and not just let them pass by.

Don’t let this happen

The people in your business who support others are key to the success of your business. They help ensure your workforce are taken care of when they need it the most. Please do not let those helpers become part of the mental health statistics. Support them so that they can carry on doing the amazing job of supporting others!


Click the links below to learn more:

The Workplace Mental Health Induction Workshop

The Workforce Mental Health Assessment

Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health Online Workshop Support Program

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When you are ready to help and support your workforce, we can help. Fill in the contact form below and we will get in touch.

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