Did you know that 9 out of 10 Australian employees recognise the importance to work in a mentally healthy environment? However, only 52% of employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy.
In the past 12 months, 1 in 5 employees has taken time off work because of mental illness. 76% stated that this is due to work-related stress.  There are many proactive ways to reduce stress. Our previous article highlighted that stress is not the same for everyone, and not everyone experiences stress the same way .
Work-related stress is the leading psychological workplace hazard that affects the employees’ mental and physical wellbeing. This is also costing Australian businesses over 10 billion dollars per year.  Despite the substantial cost, nearly half of all senior managers believe none of their workers will experience a mental health problem at work. 
Another study also supported this as only 15% of employees say their organisation provides them with enough support to help them deal with their mental illness. 
Support is one of the psychosocial factors when looking at reducing Mental Health risks within your business. And having poor support within your organisation means your employees are at high risk of psychological illness and injuries.
Generally, creating a mentally healthy workplace is everyone’s responsibility. But mental health is leadership-driven. The reform must start at the top. Business owners and organisational leaders play a critical role in driving policies and practices that promote mental health in the Workplace. They can positively influence workplace culture, management practices and the experience of employees.
The State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia report says that there is strong evidence that when employees believe their CEO values a mentally healthy workplace, there are significant attitudinal and behavioural benefits. These include half the level of absenteeism due to mental health conditions and more positive perceptions of mental health in the Workplace. Additionally, workplaces, where CEOs value mental health are also more likely to be considered physically safe. 
Now the question is - as a leader who values the importance of a psychologically safe workplace, how are you providing adequate support to your team? Do your company policy and practices include mental first aid?
Just like physical first aiders, any organisation needs to have mental first aid in place. Here are the three things you must know about mental first aid.
1. Define Mental First Aid
Mental health first aid is the help you give to someone who is struggling. You can provide this first aid until the person has received appropriate professional treatment or resolved the crisis, but please note that Mental Health First Aiders are not counsellors. 
Mental health first aiders can help people experiencing the following conditions by connecting them to the right professional help:
They can offer support to a person who is experiencing a mental health crisis, such as:
suicidal thoughts and behaviours
non-suicidal self-injury (sometimes called deliberate self-harm)
severe psychotic states
severe effects from alcohol or other drug use
2. How to use mental first aid
Anyone can provide mental first aid. You can help those around you by following the steps provided by mental health first aid guidelines.
You can help even without Mental health first aid training. But if you wanted to take recognised Mental health first aid training, check out Mental Health First Aid Australia .
They’ll teach you how to help a person who is struggling or experiencing a mental health crisis.
The first step is knowing the signs and symptoms of mental health problems so you can work out when it may be time to help. Only a trained professional can diagnose someone with a mental illness, but you can stay alert to changes in a person’s mood, behaviour, energy, habits, or personality. These changes may be the sign of a mental health problem.
The next step is to approach the person.
Know what’s is and is not helpful. Sometimes even with the best intentions, we can make matters worse.