Mental Health First Aid During Coronavirus

Supporting staff mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis and beyond...

As we approach two months of lockdown where people remain isolated in their homes and the upheaval of daily routines continues; mental health and wellbeing seems to be climbing up the agenda, as the government and mental health charities seek to respond. 

This need for businesses to take mental health seriously is not new though, with the economic impact on employers calculated and reported in the governments thriving at work report in 2017. However, this responsibility has been brought into sharper focus in the current crisis and it may be leaving some employers and line managers feeling out of their depth about how to best support their staff.

According to new research from the CIPD and People Management magazine, managing people's fear and anxiety and supporting their mental health during the coronavirus crisis is the most common challenge for employers.

Hope Health's Founder, Nicole O’Callaghan says,  “We are supporting businesses to adapt and create new ways to support their employees and are ready to assist companies curate a mental wellbeing program that will be most effective and achievable at this time. Personally, I believe that starts with having trained Mental Health First Aiders embedded in every company, no matter how small.” 

For companies that were proactive prior to lockdown, by having their managers trained as mental health first aiders, they should be well positioned to support their employees. Nicole states, “Having trained mental health first aiders embedded in your organisation will equip you with being able to support your employees mental health at this time and beyond the coronavirus pandemic where the fallout with regards to people's mental health is yet unknown”.  But how about now that employees are not in sight and are possibly working in less than ideal home working situations? Nicole continues, “For trained mental health first aiders in companies it is obviously a very different type of support now, with the obvious challenges of not being able to physically see employees, making it harder for managers to pick up on signs and symptoms that a colleague may be struggling. We have been guiding our clients through this change by carrying out workshops on spotting the signs and symptoms from afar and healthy home working”.

For those companies who do not have mental health first aiders though it’s not too late. The good news is Hope Health offers a range of MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) England, online mental health training courses, to help you manage your own and your employees’ mental health.

Hope Health’s Mental Health First Aid England courses support you to:

Learn about mental health and how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue

Help your workplace managers to develop their skills and knowledge to have effective mental health conversations with their teams

Courses are delivered online or on-site at your workplace and Hope Health are taking bookings now.

Nicole says;

“Our experts can guide you on choosing the right training for your staff. We also provide a full program of workshops and activities which have all been adapted to the current situation including healthy working from home workshops, online self care activities such as remote reiki and virtual fitness classes.” Hope Healths Fitness Lead, Angus Browne, says, “We all know that about 30 mins of aerobic exercise three times a week can boost mood, reduce stress and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Most people find it difficult to get the recommended levels of activity under normal circumstances, so we have taken time to understand the barriers preventing people to exercise at the moment and are building our programs around those findings”.  

Nicole says;

“All wellbeing programs can be tailored to your organisation's culture, current wellbeing strategy and specific challenges at this time. We believe in doing this, will stand you in good stead for the future sustainability, resilience and growth of not just your business but your people too”.

If you would like to find out more about the wellbeing services we can provide during this time and beyond please email 

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