The Health and Safety Executive have recently introduced some updates to their current guidance on the First Aid at Work Regulations that you will need to be aware of.

The updates include emphasising employers responsibilities to take account of employees mental health when undertaking their first aid needs assessment and states the following:

It may be helpful to have people trained to identify and understand mental ill health symptoms who are able to support someone who is experiencing a mental health issue. You may decide that someone with a First Aid at Work or Emergency First at Work qualification is already able to provide initial support and reassurance to a worker experiencing an acute mental health episode, but you should consider if any further training is required. You should be satisfied that they:

■ know how to access professional help if necessary;

■ can act promptly, safely and effectively until that help is available.

What you Need To Do

You will already be undertaking a first aid needs assessment and this will lead you to identify how many trained persons you currently require to provide physical first aid treatment. You should also now consider whether these trained persons are currently able to provide the mental ill health first aid support or whether you need to provide them or others with additional Mental Ill Health First Aid Training.

Please note it is not a legal requirement to provide mental ill health first aiders. The legal requirement is for you to undertake the assessment and determine whether you have a need for this type of first aid provision.