This was originally published on The Pastry Box Project on June 6, 2014.
If we want to make tech companies safe places for those struggling with mental health issues, I believe it is essential that our leads, managers and C-level executives become certified in Mental Health First Aid (International Programs).
I’m someone who has dealt with my own depression and anxiety disorders for the last 25 years. I was certified in an 8-hour course just a few weeks ago, and it is one of the most important things I’ve done to increase my ability to empathize with and help those who struggle with mental health issues. I've learned techniques to assess and aid people in crisis and non-crisis situations.
From the MHFA site:
I’ve taken regular first aid, and I’ve used both, but certainly the opportunities to use Mental Health First Aid are much more abundant. - Nathan Krause, Pastor
If you are a team lead, a project manager, a C-level executive, or similar, it is in your power to make your workplace a safe environment for your coworkers. You can empower them to seek help, free of stigma and shame. Your willingness to get certified will make their quality of life better, and will save lives.
Please stand with me now. Make a commitment to get certified in Mental Health First Aid
If you want help bringing this program to your workplace, or have any other questions, I will help you. Contact me at ed@OSMIhelp.org.