Guidance to organisations around creating and supporting your networks of mental health first aiders and champions

Equipping a team of colleagues within a workplace to provide immediate support, information and guidance is a key part of any organisation’s mental health strategy. Mental health first aid has been the model that many organisations have adopted, with the training licensed by Mental Health First for England (MHFAE) increasingly being seen as the go to approach. We are proud to be accredited providers of MHFAE training and have trained MHFAider networks in a wide range of different clients over a number of years. Some organisations have chosen different approaches, for example training networks of champions, and we have worked with a number of them to deliver bespoke training.

Whatever the approach an organisation takes, there are many things to think about in creating and then, crucially, supporting your network of champions or MHFAiders and enabling them to be as effective as possible in their roles. At byrne·dean we have worked with organisations for many years in doing just this and have, as a result, gained insight and experience as to how best to go about the process.  We have distilled that into this guide, which is intended to identify to organisations the kinds of things they should be thinking about, and how to go about that thinking.  It is not a replacement for MHFAE guidance but is, we hope, a useful supplement to that based on our experience. 

It may feel odd blogging about this when all focus is on the corona virus. On one level we do need to continue with everyday life as much as we can.  On another, in these uncertain times, with the anxiety that uncertainty can create as well as the dangers of isolation from imposed remote working, the mental health of your people, and the role of those who support them, is more crucial than ever. 

We are always happy to share our thinking.  If you would like to find out more about what we do and how we can help, then give us a call.