Importance of Mental Health Training for Managers

As Mental Health Awareness Week passes us by, it is easy to forget that mental health is a 24/7, 365-day occurrence for people. The past few years have been difficult for everyone, and it’s predicted that the pandemic’s mental health implications will likely stick around for some time

Being in a position of leadership, managers have a duty of care to all employees. It is therefore important that managers are able to engage with all staff and, understand the importance of mental health and the significant contribution to both staff engagement and productivity that opening up conversations around mental health can have.

What is mental health training and how can it help?

Mental health awareness has become a high-focus topic within modern-day discussions, and uncertainty and a fear of saying the wrong thing is often a topic managers shy away from or avoid. So as a manager, how can you help? 

Mental health training has become an essential part of a modern manager’s skill range. 

In addition to gaining knowledge and understanding of the issues of mental ill-health, managers gain practical tips, tools and techniques to support all day to day interactions, enabling managers to engage and support people. 

A mental health training course for managers aims to support those in managerial or supervisor roles, how to better support and engage with their teams and as Mental Health Champions advocate for those experiencing mental ill health and for genuine openness and support throughout the workplace.

5 ways mental health training can benefit the manager 

Being a Mental Health Champion at work has its own advantages for managers and the organisation. According to HSE, in 2019/20, 55% of all working days were lost due to work-related ill mental health.

This is a worrying figure for managers, which will only increase if the proper procedures aren’t put in place. Below are 5 benefits to managers taking part in mental health training. 

  1. Encourages an open environment

Following involvement in a mental health courses, most managers have acknowledged a significant improvement in their overall skills and abilities as a leader/manager, confirming their ability to genuinely and more authentically, engage with their teams. Spreading awareness and demonstrating a willingness to talk about mental health provides a positive, open and supportive environment for all employees.

  1. Increased Communication

With an open environment comes better communication. In a study undertaken by Mind,  1 in 5 respondents felt they couldn’t tell their boss if they were stressed. A mental health course provides managers with the tools and confidence to open up those conversations. 

  1. Better Teamwork

Workplace teams are stronger, have improved relationships, and produce better results if they share a positive, open environment. By understanding employees’ struggles, managers can be more empathetic and build a better bond with and amongst their whole team. 

  1. Improved Productivity

By combining all three benefits mentioned above, teams are more likely to reach and even exceed performance targets. A healthy environment where everyone feels supported can significantly help motivate a team when working towards a common goal. 

  1. Loyalty and engagement with the company

If employees feel supported and heard, they are less likely look elsewhere for another role. Saving significant time and resource on recruitment, helping to create a diverse workforce, and ensuring that you keep the best of your talent within the organisation.

Benefits for employees 

It’s common for employees to brush aside concerns, to just ‘get on with it’ and not acknowledge the impact of their mental ill health can have on all aspects of their lives, including their work and productivity. 

As many employees don’t feel comfortable going to their boss to discuss what at first may be minor relatively minor concerns that they may have, it can significantly escalate to become a major challenge before it is recognised and has to be dealt with. 

By managers undergoing mental health training, they are able to spot the signs, and initiate the interaction nipping the problem in the bud before it becomes a problem – so employees don’t have to ask! 

Steps to implement mental health practices in the workplace

There’s a lot of information out there, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Below are a few actionable steps to implementing mental health practices in the workplace. 

Step 1: Participate in the Mental Health Champions wellbeing course

The WYMS Mental Health Champions course is perfect for supervisors, managers, and team leaders. This one day course will teach participants about mental health conditions, the signs, and how to implement practical strategies to help their team. 

Step 2: Let people know about the initiatives

Let the team know what mental health initiatives are being implemented in the workplace, and where/who they can go to for support. 

Step 3: Start the conversation with those that need it

Being trained as a mental health champion, the manager should start that conversation if an employee shows signs they are struggling. Pull the person aside in a comfortable setting and open the dialogue about mental health where necessary. 

Step 4: Implement mental health first aiders 

The next step is to implement mental health first aiders. On the WYMS 2-day accredited Mental Health First Aid course, employees will learn how best to support those around them and practical skills on what to do in a mental health crisis. 

As well as our Mental Health Champions and Mental Health First Aid courses, we also offer an introductory 4-hour Mental Health Awareness workshop. This half-day training gives a general overview and understanding of mental health, helping boost confidence when trying to help someone who is struggling. 

Contact West Yorkshire Manufacturing Services team today for more dates or information on any of our wellbeing courses.

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