A survey conducted by first aid charity St John Ambulance has found that workers are ever more anxious about their and their colleagues' mental health.

Of the 900 St John Training customers surveyed:

  • 88% expressed concern about a colleague’s mental health.
  • 81% replied that their mental health is worse or more variable as a result of the pandemic.
  • 48% said employers should do more to support their wellbeing.
  • 53% reported an increased workload.
  • 44% have considered leaving their job due to mental health and wellbeing issues.
  • 72% want to continue working from home to support their wellbeing, but 72% said they wanted better organisational mental health support.

Andrew New, St John’s head of education and training products, commented on the findings of the survey: “While we expected the pandemic to have taken its toll on working people’s mental health, employers may be surprised to learn of the extent of it.”

St John course responds to the mental health crisis

The survey’s results were announced as the charity launched two new workplace mental health qualifications, which takes an innovative and fresh approach to mental health first aid in the workplace.

The new courses, which are to be taught from this week at 40 locations, build on the charity’s experience as a renowned physical first aid trainer.

Utilising a new protocol, ‘DR EFG’, comparable to the memory aid ‘DR ABC’ used for physical first aid training, the courses will examine the factors that affect our mental health. As well as teaching the roles and responsibilities of a mental health first aid responder, such as recognising the symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and self-harm and giving the skills necessary to give immediate support.

Additionally, unlike many other courses, St John’s one and two-day courses for Mental Health Responder and Mental Health First Aider, respectively, will include a final assessment. And if passed, participants will receive a qualification recognised by FutureQuals, which Ofqual regulates.

Andrew New said that the courses would focus on “practical skills and have devised a clear protocol to enable colleagues to support their own and each other’s mental health. We also know that an assessment and qualification will give both the learner and their employer the confidence that they will be able to respond to mental health episodes.”