What is a mental health champion?
Did you know that findings from CV -Library showed 89% of people with poor mental health experience a negative impact on their working lives? It’s also apparent that mental health difficulties are highly common, as 1 in 4 adults in the UK will experience this during their lifetime. This is why having mental health champions available at work is a crucial step in crushing the stigma that surrounds mental health. Read on to discover what a mental health champion does and why they’re so important.
By Emily Roach, Paws in Work guest blogger.
Mental health champion.
A mental health champion is someone who acts against the stigma of speaking out on mental health in situations where it’s less common to do so, e.g., the workplace. A mental health champion also promotes and literally ‘champions’ awareness on mental health in the workplace. This role is very important because you’re acting as a point of contact for someone to talk to if they’re going through a rough time. It’s vital to make your colleagues feel that they have a safe space to visit, so they can speak about their feelings with confidence. Breaking down the stigma and showing others that it’s okay not to be okay is a huge step in transforming the future of mental wellbeing, especially in the workplace.
What makes a good mental health champion?
You don’t have to have background knowledge of mental health to become a mental health champion. All that is required is the passion for breaking down the barriers of the negative stigma attached to discussing mental health challenges. Additionally, someone who enjoys helping others and likes to offer sensible advice are great qualities that a mental health champion should have. Mental health champions must complete specific training courses before they’re able to share their advice with their work colleagues.
How do you become a mental health champion?
You simply need to enrol in a mental health champion course to complete the necessary training required. This can be done online or face-to-face in a group setting. Training includes workshops, presentations, and in-depth group discussions. These courses will provide knowledge on how to provide mental health first aid to fellow employees, as well as promote a healthy and happy working environment. Completion of the course will follow with a certificate to verify this, along with useful help books, highlighting everything you’ve learned.
How to champion mental health in the workplace
There are many proactive ways in which you can champion mental health in the workplace. Actively introducing healthy workplace initiatives for mental wellbeing is a good place to start. Here are some examples:
- Regular group discussions/check-ins on the team’s mental health
- Team-bonding exercises in and outside the workplace e.g., puppy therapy
- Encouraging employees to take breaks from their workstations
- Urge other employees to enrol in a mental health training course if they feel inspired to help others
- Recognise special days such as ‘Time to talk day’ or ‘Mental Health Awareness Day’ and actively get the team involved
Book mental health training with us.
We offer a range of Mental Health First Aid England-accredited courses that managers and employees can take part in. These courses start from ‘being aware’ to ‘becoming a champion’ to finally becoming a fully-fledged mental health first aider. These courses are taught virtually or in person and are created with the aim of providing employees with potentially lifesaving tools at work. Click here to keep up to date with our upcoming events! We look forward to welcoming you to our sessions!
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