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Unum makes Mental Health First Aid courses available to employers

Employers with policies insured with financial protection specialist Unum now have easy access to Mental Health First Aid courses for their staff.

Employers with policies insured with financial protection specialist Unum now have easy access to Mental Health First Aid courses for their staff.  This comes in response to growing recognition of the impact of mental illness in the workplace and the need to build employer capability when it comes to handling these issues.

Developed by Mental Health First Aid England, the two day course:

  • Trains you to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental ill health
  • Empowers you to provide help and support on a first aid basis
  • Helps you guide people with mental health problems towards the right support services
  • Covers a range of mental health problems, from stress through to more serious conditions such as depression and psychosis

Those completing the course will have mental health first aider status and will be able to spot mental health problems early, take action to prevent them from developing into something much more serious and help colleagues to recover more quickly.

Available now, the course will be delivered through a partnership between Unum and specialist training organisation Minding Your Business.  The course is taught over two days, although a half day introductory session is also available, and employers can opt for onsite sessions for their own staff or join other companies in their sector.

Recent research has helped to highlight the scale of the issue. A huge 1 in 4 people now experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives  and Unum research shows 78% of workers want their employer to play a role in looking after their mental health . However, managers do not always feel equipped to do this, with 56% saying they’d like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don’t feel they have the right training or guidance .

Unum hopes its promotion of MHFA will help to drive a culture change in UK workplaces by increasing employer understanding, building line manager capability and providing practical support for staff.

Andrew Potterton, Head of Proposition Development at Unum, said:

“Just as every workplace has access to first aid in response to injury or physical illness, we want all companies to have first aiders to support colleagues with mental health problems.  There remains considerable stigma and misunderstanding around mental health and we aim to tackle this head on by helping employers equip their workplaces with the skills and knowledge to handle these issues effectively. We hope this drive will support recent moves in government, in healthcare and among employers to push mental health up the workplace agenda.”

Employers or intermediaries requiring more information about the MHFA courses offered can contact Unum’s sickness absence helpline on 01306 646001.

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