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Mental Health First Aid training: ‘Every workplace should aspire to have a mental health first aider Just like every workplace has a physical first aider’

A Yorkshire mental health first aid trainer is campaigning for all workplaces to have a qualified mental health first aider to not only support and sign post “but it could save lives,” said Tara Powell.

Tara became a mental health first aid trainer in Yorkshire while living in Leeds after years in a high pressure corporate job.

“We all have mental health and most of us at some point could encounter struggles but as adults there’s very few touch points to get support. While work can be an added stress factor it is also one of the places where we could seek to provide support for those who need it.

“Not only is this vital for the individual but for all staff morale, productivity and it can even help to reduce financial cost to business.”

Tara added that more people are looking for value-filled work so having strong wellbeing policies and support for staff can help with recruitment and retention of talent. She said: “Employees used to be driven by money but nowadays more and more people are looking for purpose.”


Presenti-ism vs absenteeism  


It’s reported that presenteeism, where employees turn up to work but aren’t fully productive, costs businesses ten times more than absenteeism. 

Employees take an average of four days off per year for sick time, but admitted to being unproductive an average of 57.5 days a year, according to a GCC Insights® report by Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).

“If employee morale is high, people feel valued and find work as a place they belong, then it has been proven that people are a lot more productive and likely to stay longer in the company. 

“While you may take a physical first aid course and use it occasionally, learning the tools of mental health first aid however can help you in day to day life as well as daily in the workplace or working as part of a team remotely.

“It could also help you to recruit more people with the desired skills as the UK’s workforce is missing out on so much talent due to the fact that so many places are not mental health friendly.” 

The Office for National Statistics estimates that “just 21% of people with a long-term mental health condition are in employment.”

Tara is calling for employers to not only look at the business case for mental health first aid training at work but the long-term wellbeing of people because anxiety for example, which is a normal emotion in us all, can get out of control and become a mental health problem if someone doesn’t have the right support.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems we can face and was the theme of this year’s mental health awareness week. In a recent mental health survey the mental health foundation carried out around stress, anxiety and hopelessness over personal finances, a quarter of adults said they felt so anxious that it stopped them from doing the things they want to do some or all of the time. Six in ten adults feel this way, at least some of the time. On a positive note, anxiety can be made easier to manage.

Tara added: “There is no one size fits all when it comes to mental health as each team is different as is each individual which is why I tailor all of my courses around the needs of the people training or those in their workplace because I’m all about inclusivity and equity.” 

Mental health first aid can help to support the workplace and family and can be a useful tool for immediate support and can help with recovery.


From suicide training to menopause and stress, for more on Tara’s courses, go to:


Contact: [email protected] 

Tara is qualified to deliver: 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA): 


2 day MHFAiders

1 day MHFA Champions course

Half day awareness course

Refresher training course

Youth 2 day MHFAider course

Mental Health skills for managers: their teams and their own self care MHFA england 

 i-act course (virtually) Home | i-act Training | United Kingdom

Alongside the accredited courses, Tara also delivers bespoke training around wellbeing. 


Tara partners with the Jordan Legacy, a charity which aim to reduce suicide in the workplace. 


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