Media Release: Mental health First Aid course launched by HR specialist


A LEADING North-east employment law and HR specialist has launched a new course designed to help First-aiders give initial help to someone experiencing a mental health problem.

Empire HR, which has offices in Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow, are delighted to announce its participation in Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) programme, and will be delivering the two-day course in Aberdeen on 24 August, and Inverness on 29 and 30 September.

Says a spokesperson: “Scottish Mental Health First Aid is an NHS and Scottish Government supported training scheme which stemmed originally from an idea of having a mental health equivalent of physical First Aid and to date, over 40,000 people in Scotland have undertaken the training.

“With an estimated one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, employers are encouraged to take a proactive approach to being alert to early signs of mental ill health, thereby supporting employee wellbeing as well as business performance.”

The course teaches participants about the signs and symptoms of someone with a mental health problem and gives guidance on how to help the person gain professional help through signposting to the appropriate support.

During the 12-hour course, participants will gain an understanding of the signs and symptoms of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, self harm ,suicide and the impact of alcohol and drugs on mental health.

The course is supported with comprehensive materials designed by NHS Health Scotland.

Elaine Masson (pictured), mental health First Aid instructor at Empire, said: “This course does not train people to be therapists or mental health professionals. Rather, participants will be able to confidently signpost mental health sufferers to appropriate professional help, in the same way as a first aider would send someone with a broken leg to hospital, or a person with flu to the doctor.

“The course greatly helped my own awareness and understanding of mental health. With 40 per cent of employers seeing an increase in mental health problems in the workplace, the SMHFA course offers employers an opportunity to be proactive in having a strategic approach to employee well being.”

Empire are also able to deliver the course in house for clients on a flexible schedule basis to meet operational needs.

For all SMHFA courses run by Empire, the delegate rate is capped at £100 per person (discounted for registered charities).

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