Why have a mental health first aider in your business?

We are all very conscious of the global rise in the awareness of mental health issues. Combine that with the consideration we have for our team’s own good health and – there you have it, a mental health first aider for Just Audit.

Karen Lewchenko, part of our audit team, volunteered for the role and has attended a 2-day course with MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) England where they covered a range of fairly well-recognised issues such as: depression, suicide, substance abuse, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm and psychosis.

Karen explained: “It’s a bit like usual first aid but instead of physical injuries, you’re dealing with mental health issues. We can respond in a crisis and recognise the warning signs which can sometimes result in us supporting a person and keeping them safe until professional help arrives.”

“Personally, I thought the course was invaluable. I learnt so much about how to deal with people showing signs of poor mental health and how to confidently come to their aid. I also learnt that we all have mental health… it’s just where we are on the continuum at any time as to whether we are able to cope.”

As the MHFA states – the qualification won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and potentially stop a crisis from happening. It also gives you the confidence to signpost someone to seek further support including reading materials, the GP and other sources.

Find out more here