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Aon addresses issues in Mental Health First Aid

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Aon in October 2019 announced it has developed services to fill gaps identified in the UK’s Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) provision.

Mental Health First Aid courses are commonplace in workplaces throughout the UK, yet research from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) highlights serious pitfalls for employers who wish to implement MHFA without a wider strategy or who do not take the care of the MH First Aiders themselves into consideration.

Aon’s approach helps employers implement a sound structure for Mental Health First Aid in the workplace. It includes a strategy and plan, including measurement and data analysis.

The plan ensures an employer understands MHFAs or other options, how to cost a campaign, and how to create a business case for investment. The plan offers three course options depending on employer needs, as well as guidance on how to establish Mental Health First Aider roles and protecting the mental health of MHFA’s.

It can include a continued professional development course, launch communication, MHFA application forms for potential candidates, and clear role descriptions that outline the boundaries of the role.

Measuring the impact of MHFA has also been problematic due to knowledge gaps that make it impossible to show evidence that MHFA training is effective in a workplace setting. Aon has also developed a mental health dashboard based on initial measurement and data analysis to monitor any impact such training may have.

Aon has first-hand experience of rolling out an ambitious MHFA program. Its own program has delivered numerous benefits, including increased employee engagement with mental health, and a high proportion of interactions by over 100 colleagues who have been trained and ‘activated’ as MH First Aiders. Aon concurrently rolled out a program that saw hundreds of colleagues attend mindfulness workshops, resilience workshops, and Mental Health Awareness training for people leaders.

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