A new law requiring businesses to offer mental health first aid training has been presented to parliament.
Tory MP Dean Russell told the Commons the move will lead to more people spotting the early signs of mental health issues in the workplace.
Many businesses already offer mental health training to first aiders, but it is not a legal requirement.
Mr Russell told MPs that requiring mental health first aid training in the workplace would save lives.
“People do not always wear bandages to show where they have anxiety and depression,” he told MPs.
“This Bill will simply mean that workers have a person to signpost them to the help and support they need, when they need it.”
The rise in mental health first aid
The idea has been discussed for several years.
In 2018, a petition for the “Where’s Your Head At!” campaign for a mandatory mental health first aider in every place of work attracted more than 200,000 signatures.
The extra training would come at a cost to businesses, but campaigners highlight the growing number of workdays lost to poor mental health.
The Health and Safety Executive estimates that mental illness accounted for around half of all cases of sick leave last year