Mental Health First Responders

Fundamentals

Workforce suicide is the leading cause of death for people up to the age of 44 – aihw.gov.au

The overall cost of mental health is the third greatest cost to healthcare following cancer and cardiovascular disease. Mental health claims are the most common and most costly claims from all Workcover claims related to illness and diseases.

Mental health disorders are experienced by around 2 in 5 people (43.7%) and 2 in 3 senior leaders (64%), yet Employee Assistance Programs average usage globally is approximately only 6% (SafeWork Australia, ABS, Bupa, ResearchGate).

This 37%+ gap between support needs and support provided emerges due to the following issues:
    • People don’t feel psychologically safe to express their mental health challenges to employers
    • Workplace cultures lack trust and don’t often welcome people to express their emotions
    • Workplaces don’t often have a routine means to allow people to check-in with their emotional state confidentially
    • Leaders don’t often actively check-in with teams in a structured way to support mental health and wellbeing
    • When support is needed people can’t easily find who can support them in a confidential, trusted, and skilled way
    • Friends are most trusted, though often don’t have certified skills to support
    • There is a general stigma that expressing mental health challenges is a shameful act

About the Program

The Mental Health First Responders (MHFR) program is a globally recognised certified program that has been developed using psychology and mental health principles, and is endorsed by the Mental Health Foundation Australia.

Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention Support reduces the impact on a person in mental health distress, and minimises the time and cost to recover back to a state of stability. Mental health distress, left undetected and unsupported, can lead to chronic mental health issues and increase the chance of risk and time for recovery.

Content Breakdown

Day 1 - LIFT
Skillsets
Day 2 - ACT
Skillsets
Day 3 - Org.
Frameworks

Mental Health vs Mental Illness

Using Emotional Pulse Software

Cost of Mental Health

Psychological Safety

ACT: Personal Crisis Support

Best Practice Mental Health Frameworks

Understanding Emotions

Noticing Personal Crisis

Self-Care & Wellbeing Plans

Emotional Pulse Technology

Trust & Confidentiality

Recognising Burnout & Conflict

Listening with Attention + Intention

De-Escalating Emotions

Planning Implementation

Inquiring to Discover Needs

Assessing Risk

Certification Process

Finding Ways to Support Needs

Collaborate on a Support Plan

Review Outcomes

Thank & Acknowledge

Take Time to Check In

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Who Can Use This

Leaders, Mental Health Supports, Human Resource Leaders, Chaplains, Psychologists, Emergency Responders, Parents, Teachers, Care Workers, Social Workers, First Aiders.

What's the Difference Between MHFR & MHFA

While both programs are certified and endorsed by the Mental Health Foundation Australia, there are some key differences. Mental Health First Responder (MHFR) training is more focused on Promotion, Prevention & Early Intervention Support and creating skill-sets for people to support mental health distress, and equipping them with the resources required to establish effective mental health frameworks in workplaces; whereas Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is more focused on understanding the different types of mental health issues and connecting to professional support services in times of crisis.

Aspect Mental Health First Responder Mental Health First Aid
Approach
Universal way of Mental Health Promotion and Prevention based on identified sources of mental and emotional strain
A particular method of Mental Health Intervention based on observable Mental Health Challenges
Process
LIFT + ACT – focus Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention
ALGEE – focus on Crisis Intervention & Professional Support
Skills Imparted
Identifies distress, provides immediate emotional support & referrals as required
Identifies Mental Health Challenges and refers to qualified support
Duration
1.5 days (3 x 3hrs = 9hrs)
2 days (3 x 4hrs = 12hrs)
Content Overview
Interpersonal harm, psychological safety listening, crisis intervention skills, implementing mental health frameworks in organisations
Mental health problems and crisis situations are covered in detail
Content Detail

Interpersonal harm covered:

  • Violence, Condemnation, Gossip, Bullying

Skills covered:

  • Emotional Intelligence, Empathic Listening, Identifying Needs, Resilience, Crisis Identification, Crisis Response, De-escalating Strong Emotion, Best-practice Mental Health Frameworks for Organisation, Technology for Organisational Mental Health & Wellbeing

Mental health problems covered:

  • Depression, Anxiety, Psychosis, Substance Use

Mental health crises covered:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours, Non-suicidal self-injury, Panic attacks, Traumatic events, Severe Psychotic States, Substance Abuse, Aggressive Behaviour
Evidence Indicates
Good for supporting those in emotional distress and improving organisational culture and management of mental health at work
Good for raising awareness and understanding the different types of mental health challenges
Resources Included
Certified Training Program, Online Resources, Handbook, Technology, Support Community, Workplace Resources for Implementation and Training Teams
Certified Training Program, Online Resources, Handbook

Framework Overview

Clarity & Direction

  • Team Culture Engagement Survey
  • Develop Culture Activation Strategy
  • Determine Culture Engagement and Gartner Inclusivity Score

Educate & Skills Development

  • Train selected Mental Health First Responders (Live sessions for supporters)
  • Train leaders and influencers (Live session to lead teams)
  • Train entire team (Live session plus app)

Technology Activation

  • Form working teams, pair trusted buddies and assign nominated supports
  • Activate Emotional Pulse technology
  • Activate technology AI support insights

Establish Holistic Support Framework

  • Team LIFT support culture and link to balance & wellbeing guiding tools
  • Mental Health First Responders (MHFRs) in team support
  • Connect emergency services, EAP, and other professional support pathways

Mental Health & Wellbeing Insights

  • Live in-app insights for individuals, leaders, MHFRs, and professionals
  • Monthly insights for teams to provide strategic guidance for direct check-ins
  • Insights indicating activities contributing to trend shifts in team morale

Confidentiality – Emotional Pulse technology meets confidentiality requirements. People on Emotional Pulse technology have full control over who and when they choose to share their emotional trends with others.

ISO Standards – The framework used by ShareTree meets ISO45003 standard for psychological health & safety at work.

See when we will next run our Mental Health First Responders program on our events page. Funding programs are also available for the Mental Health First Responders program. See funding options by opening the link below.

The information on this page can also be downloaded as PDFs below

GAIN SOME INSIGHT INTO UNDERSTANDING YOUR TEAMS ENGAGEMENT LEVELS