What is a Mental Health Champion?

Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to improving mental health at work. But that’s why we need Mental Health Champions in the workplace. Mental Health Champions are committed to promoting good mental health and helping others to do the same.

But what is a Mental Health Champion? Why are they vital in the workplace? How can you become one? We answer all of these questions and more throughout the rest of this guide.

Mental Health Champions are individuals who dedicate themselves to improving mental health awareness in their workplace. They may work in a variety of settings. Though many individuals may champion mental health, certified Mental Health Champions will have completed an MHFA Champions Course. A Mental Health Champions Course ensures the individual is equipped with the necessary skills to lead and educate others about mental health in the workplace.

Mental Health Champions play a critical role in increasing mental health awareness in their work communities. Mental Health Champions work to create a culture where people feel comfortable talking about mental health at work and have the confidence to seek help. They also provide support and resources to those who are struggling with mental health issues. Mental Health Champions help to promote positive mental health practices.

What are the skills and qualities of a Mental Health Champion?

Choosing the right members of your workplace to train as Mental Health Champions is essential to the success of your workplace wellbeing. Here are some key skills and qualities to look for when selecting Mental Health Champions:

  • An interest in mental health and willingness to support those with mental health issues at work.
  • Desire to learn and keep up-to-date with the latest research around mental health.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to provide support and resources to those who need it.
  • Compassion and empathy.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Ability to think strategically.

What Do Mental Health Champions Do?

In the workplace, Mental Health Champions play a key role. They provide support to employees who may be struggling with mental ill-health. Mental Health Champions also work to create a positive work environment where employees feel comfortable talking about their mental health. Mental Health Champions look to increase mental health awareness and educate employees. They work to reduce mental health stigma and create a more empathic workforce.

Mental Health Champions may do a variety of things, such as:

  • Create and distribute educational materials on mental health.
  • Develop a wellbeing strategy or utilise wellbeing initiatives to encourage employees to take care of their mental health.
  • Speak about mental health at company events or during staff meetings.
  • Provide one-on-one support to employees who are struggling with mental health issues.
  • Ensure employees understand their rights and any adjustments they are entitled to.

The Importance of Mental Health Champions at Work

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 88% of those diagnosed with a mental health issue reported to have felt stressed, overwhelmed or had trouble coping in the workplace. Therefore, championing mental health in the workplace is vital. 

Metal Health Champions in the workplace help employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health at work and seeking help. This can lead to earlier recognition and treatment of mental health issues, which can improve overall employee wellbeing and productivity.

Alongside the benefits of better workplace wellbeing and productivity, this may also benefit the company as a whole. By investing in Mental Health First Aid training for your business, you can reduce costs associated with absenteeism and presenteeism, and improve staff retention rates.

Mental Health Champions also send a positive message to the wider community that your company is taking mental health seriously. This can promote wellbeing on a wider scale, improve your company’s reputation and help attract talent to your business.

Who Can Become a Mental Health Champion?

Anyone with a passion for mental health can become a Mental Health Champion. By training as a Mental Health Champion, you can learn how to identify and support someone with a mental health issue. You’ll also be part of a wider network of champions who are improving mental health awareness.

If you’re an employer, choosing someone to become your workplace Mental Health Champion is a good way to show your commitment to improving mental health in the workplace. Alternatively, if you are an individual who is passionate about mental health, you can reach out to your workplace and offer to become their Mental Health Champion.

Anyone can become a Mental Health Champion, and there are a number of ways you can contribute to improving mental health in your workplace. If you are interested in becoming a Mental Health Champion, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Discuss training to become a certified Mental Health Champion within your workplace.
  2. Become involved in workplace initiatives to improve mental health.
  3. Educate yourself on the latest research, wellbeing strategies and developments around mental health.
  4. Share your personal experiences with mental health if you feel comfortable doing so.

How To Support Mental Health Champions in Your Workplace

Want to see Mental Health Champions succeed in your workplace? It’s important to provide the training and resources that will help them learn about mental health, and support others, alongside their own wellbeing.

Our expert accredited MHFA Champions Course teaches employees how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health issues in the workplace. The course provides Mental Health Champions with the skills and knowledge they need to support those who may be struggling. It also offers a greater understanding of mental health in the workplace.

If your workplace is interested in training Mental Health Champions, Great Minds at Work have the perfect course for you.

From full Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to Mental Health Aware courses, we have a range of courses that will help your workplace create a more mentally healthy environment. Contact us today.