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Would your first aiders know if an employee was depressed?

by , 15 August 2014
Can you recognise the signs of depression? Most people can't and this is why very few employers ever know when to reach out and give their employees help.

In the beginning of this year, actress and comedian Ruby Wax came to South Africa and did a show about her fight with depression. As she puts it, you can tell a depressed person by their 'dead eyes'. And that's not the only sign.

If more people knew how to spot the signs of depression, it's possible someone could have reached out to the late, great Robin Williams who committed suicide this week.

And if you take the steps today to ensure you and your first aiders can spot these signs, you can avoid a similar tragedy with one of your employees...


Mental health: An essential part of your company first aid

These days, depression is as common as the common cold. One of the biggest factor for this is work related stress and anxiety. In fact, 17 % of working women and 13% of working men suffer from depression caused by work related stress, says Beliefnet.com.
It's your duty as an employer to protect your employees from this disease. But if it's already too late, you can't sit back. You and your first aiders need to know the signs so you can reach out to your employee and offer him help.
This is where mental health first aid training is essential.
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Do your first aiders know what it is?

Give your first aiders mental health first aid training

If one of your employees needs CPR, your first aiders with the right qualification will jump in. This should also be the case for employees in crisis suffering from depression or poor mental health.
But first they need to recognise the signs. Ensure they have the training to spot signs such as:
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness;
Loss of interest in daily activities;
Appetite or weight changes;
Sleep changes;
Anger or irritability;
Loss of energy;
Self-loathing; and
Reckless behavior.
If you or your first aiders spot any of these signs in any of your employees, reach out and offer them help before disaster strikes.

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