Friday, 03 February 2023 08:39

Compulsory Mental Health Training

Mental Health Training has been part of our suite of training courses for over eight years now. We made the decision to offer it following the wider acceptance that employers should take greater responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees and should play a more pro-active role in the promotion of good Mental Health as part of this.

Currently, employers are not obliged to provide mental health training for employees, although it has become much more widespread recently and many businesses have taken it upon themselves to implement it; particularly since Covid. Businesses are becoming more alert to that fact that a mentally heathy workforce with good morale is significantly more productive with less days lost to absence.

Optional Mental Health training for employees may soon become a thing of the past however if Dean Russell, Conservative MP for Watford, sees his recently proposed bill made into UK law.

Mr Russell proposed the new law in the House of Commons last Wednesday as a Ten Minute Rule Bill last Wednesday. The purpose of the bill, Mr Russell said is to “…create parity between mental health and physical health in the workplace for first aid.” In other words, employers’ responsibilities regarding the mental health of their employees will become as legislatively enforceable as for their physical health.

During his Bill reading, Mr Russell cited the proliferation of modern technology, social media and an ‘always-on’ culture as reasons why we are experiencing an increase in cases of mental health. He remarked how the rapid changes in culture and society have not been matched by changes in us as human beings, which is creating stress and anxiety.

“If suicide was a virus,” said Mr Russell, “we would be on the hunt for a vaccine. If loneliness was a disease, would we not search for a cure?” He went on to quote several statistics:

  • In 2021 in the UK, 6319 deaths were reported as suicide in 2021.
  • 10 million more people will need mental health support since Covid.
  • Stress depression and anxiety have become the cause of the most lost work days since the 1990s.
  • Annually, 1 million workers lose 18.6 days per year to work related stress, depression or anxiety, equating to 17 million days lost in 2021/22.
  • According to Deloitte, the cost of mental health to UK business is £56billion.

He went on to say, “Mental health on the business agenda is an investment not a burden. People do not wear bandages to show where they have anxiety and depression. Many learn to hide their pain in fear of damaging their careers.”

This is the second time that Dean Russell has bought the bill to the House and he vowed to continue highlighting it until it gains proper attention. The second reading is scheduled for 24th February.

The general feeling is that it is a case of when rather than if this bill will become law, and it represent the most significant revision of our workplace Health & Safety Laws for some time. Workplaces will have to have somebody trained as a Mental Health First Aider in addition to provisions for employees’ physical health. The Mental health Forst Aider’s role will not be to treat, but to support those with mental health issues and signpost them to the appropriate services.

Clearly, this will see a rise in the demand for Mental Health training and so businesses may want to get ahead of the curve and train their Mental Health First Aiders now whilst there is availability and prices are low. We have a number of courses already scheduled throughout the year.

In addition, we run Mental Health Awareness courses for staff in general and Mental Health for Managers to equip line managers and supervisors with the skills to recognise the potential or occurrence of mental health issues within their own teams.

Take a look at our updated Mental Health & Wellbeing page on our website for further information about the courses we run and other support we offer. As usual you can contact us on 01452 331331, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can see the Dean Russell’s Bill reading on the BBC at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001j12r/ten-minute-rule-bill-mental-health-first-aid


Read 712 times Last modified on Friday, 03 February 2023 15:13


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





We are located in Gloucester in the West of the UK close to the M4 and M5 corridors. For a precise map and directions find us on Google Maps

We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.