Mental health problems affect 1 in 5 Canadians each year! With statistics like that it is likely someone in your workplace may be experiencing a mental health problem right now.
Unfortunately, it is common that individuals have knowledge about physical health problems but they lack knowledge of mental illness (even though some-health problems are more common than physical health problems). The lack of knowledge can create a fear of not knowing what to say or not knowing how to help; in some cases it means the situation is ignored and the proper support is not provided.
Understanding what it means to have a mental health problem and recognizing the signs and symptoms is one of the first steps you can take to understanding if there is a mental health issue in your workplace. Mental health can have a major impact financially, emotionally and socially. Recognizing the early signs and symptoms can help reduce this impact, bring people back to work and create a thriving environment.
If you see any of the following signs in your workplace, it may be an indication that there is a-health problem:
- Consistent late arrivals or frequent absences
- Presenteeism/ decreased productivity
- Morale problems
- Lack of co-operation or general inability to work with colleagues
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering things
- Making excuses for missed deadlines or poor work
- Decreased interest or involvement in one’s work
- Displaying anger or blaming others
- Increases accidents or safety problems
- Complaints of being tired, having aches/pains
- Safety problems
- Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs
If you recognize there is a mental health problem for one or more employees, there is something you can do. Mental Health First Aid training can provide you with the skills to help a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. It is the first aid given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the mental health crisis is resolved.
Mental Health First Aid helps instill the confidence you need to provide support in your workplace. This includes:
- Identifying when a person may be a danger to themselves or to others and the steps you take to preserve a life
- Providing help toward preventing more serious problems from developing
- Learning what it means to listen non-judgementally and how you can provide comfort, reassurance and information to someone experiencing a -health problem.
- Learning how to guide a person toward the appropriate professional help or other supports
- Having a better recognition of mental health problems, reducing the stigma surrounding these problems and gaining the confidence to help! You can do this!