Here's your chance to learn how to better support your staff
One major positive about the ongoing pandemic is that well-being has been pushed to the forefront and we’re now making inroads towards accepting the importance of mental health. Since the pandemic, governments and corporate leaders have been making the effort to not just address the public health emergency, but also the debilitating mental health crisis.
While managing mental health isn’t a new topic, there’s still more to be done to raise awareness around the topic at work, especially now that remote working has effectively blurred the lines between home and work, making it all the more difficult to manage issues like burnout, stress and anxiety.
Regardless, it’s best to remember this advice from therapists and practitioners: you don’t have to assume the role of a counsellor or trained therapist when an employee approaches you with mental health issues. However, it is helpful to know how to handle the situation and support the employee, besides encouraging them to seek professional help.
Below, we highlight three e-learning courses that can help leaders learn more about what to do in these situations and even how to manage their own well-being.
1. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
MHFA is one of the more easily recognisable authorities in the field that aims to make “mental health first aid as common as CPR”. It’s a global program offered in over 24 countries, so you may have access to local courses. Over 50,000 trained instructors are on hand to deliver the accredited training program, which has an evidence-based course curriculum that’s gone through rigorous scientific studies and academic peer reviews.
MHFA International is a not-for-profit organisation based in Australia and has over two decades of experience and expertise in the area. MHFA Australia alone offers a wide range of eLearning and ‘blended’ courses. On their website, they indicate that the eLearning courses are made up of two parts: the online component and a second part that can be attended in-person. Due to COVID-19, you can opt to attend all classes online. There’s currently a specific course to get certified as a first aider for your workplace.
At the end of the course, you’ll get a certificate of completion and will be eligible to go for a formal accreditation assessment. There are also non-accredited short, specialised, or introductory courses targeted at corporate professionals, including those at multinational organisations. These can be done at your own pace and will end with a certificate of completion.
2. The Mental Health Project
Also based in Australia, the Mental Health Project offers customisable eLearning courses that are developed by experienced psychologists and organisational specialists. They have a wide range of courses targeted at all levels of the organisation, from employees to leaders.
The leadership course on mental health awareness, for instance, is designed to help the top rank as well as emerging leaders meet their moral and legal duty of care to employees. It’s structured as a 60-minute virtual session that can be customised, translated and localised to the company’s requirements. The course will help leaders to gain the vital knowledge to recognise and support employees experiencing a mental health condition. You’ll also learn about ways to enable employees to manage their condition and how to have a conversation on the topic or to approach co-workers effectively.
The well-being course, on the other hand, is meant to empower participants to sustain and improve their personal wellness. This is open to employees at all levels and can be attended as a team. It’s structured as a 45-minute virtual class and includes a comprehensive eToolkit that can be used upon course completion. The website states that the course content includes the following:
- A personal well-being assessment
- Content on the psychology of well-being
- Info on evidence-based habits of healthy people
- An opportunity to set well-being goals
- And how to stick to healthy habits
Participants of the courses at Mental Health Project will receive a digital certificate that’s verified by a registered psychologist.
Read more: Mental health: Unexpected COVID-19 benefits
3. Mind Share Partners
Similarly, Mind Share Partners offers custom training and advisory services to help companies “learn to name, normalise and navigate” mental health at work. As a start, they offer downloadable frameworks and a case study that can help you create a mental health strategy that works best for your organisation. They also offer a free toolkit on how to create employee resource groups for mental health support and have ongoing free webinars on creating effective workplace strategies.
Their online certification program, called the Mind Share Partners Institute, was designed with input from mental health, corporate and legal leaders. There are a total of four 2.5 hour virtual sessions. They also have a virtual community for professionals to connect and share their experiences with each other. They’re based in the US and rely on scientific research, insights from parts, as well as interviews with global corporations to help leaders apply a viable program for employees.