Mental Health First Aid

Why invest in Mental Health First Aid?

Employers – the responsibility is yours!

Of course, as an employer, you have a responsibility to the owners/shareholders of your company to protect and maximise profits. Keeping your staff mentally safe will form a key part of this strategy.

You also have a legal responsibility. In November 2018, the Health and Safety Executive amended their first aid needs assessment to include Mental Health First Aid.


9% of employees who disclosed a mental health condition to their line managers reported being disciplined, demoted or dismissed.

1 in 4 affected by poor Mental Health

Statistics suggest that in the UK, mental health problems are the largest single source of disability (British Medical Association Board of Science, 2014), with approximately one in four people affected each year (McManus et al., 2009), costing the UK economy 4.5% of Gross Domestic Product (Davies, 2013).  Also, The Health and Safety Executive (2017) state that:

Work-related stress is a major cause of occupational ill health which can cause severe physical and psychological conditions in your workers… health and safety legislation requires you to assess the level of risk from hazards in the workplace and to take all reasonably practicable measures to prevent or sufficiently reduce that risk.

Annual Private Sector Mental Ill Health Costs per Employee.

(Adapted from Farmer & Stevenson, 2017 – click on image for full-size view)

Mental Health annual cost to employers – as much as £42 billion

  • Mental Health costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion annually! This amounts to a cost per employee of between £1,205 and £1,560 per year. This cost is for all employees, not just those who are ill.
  • The report set out “mental health core standards” – a framework for a set of actions which all organisations should be capable of implementing quickly. These mental health core standards are as follows:
    • Produce, implement, and communicate a mental health at work plan
    • Develop mental health awareness among employees
    • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling
    • Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work-life balance and opportunities for development
    • Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors
    • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing
  • In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that mental health problems can be addressed in the workplace.  Initiatives to support mental health at work has grown noticeably – led by the rise in Mental Health First Aid training.