Mental Health First Aid Training in a Workplace Setting

1. Association between financial problems
and mental health problems
2. Financial counsellors need some basic
knowledge about how to assist with people
with mental health problems
3. Overview of recent UK Guidelines
4. How we might develop guidelines for
Association Between Financial and
Mental Health Problems
• Some mental health problems can cause
spending problems (e.g. mania)
• Financial problems can lead to mental
health problems (e.g. depression)
• Life events such as relationship breakdown
and unemployment can lead to both mental
health problems and financial problems.
• People with long-term mental health
problems may be on low incomes
Financial Counsellors Need Some
Basic Knowledge in How to Assist
• Mental health problems are so common that
everyone is either affected or has close
contact with others who are
• The whole community needs to have greater
mental health literacy
• People working in human services need an
even greater level of mental health literacy
Recent UK Guidelines
• The Money Advice Liaison Group has
published “Mental Health Good Practice
Awareness Guidelines” for the industry
concerned with consumer credit and debt
• Involves 15 recommendations for how to
better support consumers with mental health
problems who are in financial difficulty
• The guidelines are purely advisory
Some Examples of
• “Relevant staff should be trained on the reciprocal
impact of mental health problems and people’s ability
to manage money and debt”
• “Creditors, advice agencies and health and social care
professionals should work in a joined up way”
• “Where a creditor is made aware that a consumer has
a mental health problem, they should only initiate
court action or pursue enforcement through the courts
as a last resort, and when it is appropriate and fair to
do so”
How We Might Develop Guidelines
for Australia
•A expert consensus study using the Delphi
•It is a systematic way of assessing the
consensus of a panel of experts
•Experts can be of different types, e.g. mental
health professionals, financial counselling
experts, consumer advocates or carer advocates
Some Examples of Guidelines
Developed Using the Delphi Method
• How members of the public can give mental
health first aid
• How staff of tertiary institutions can support
students with mental health problems
• How organizations can support employees
returning to work following absence due to a
mental health problem
• How carers can support a person with bipolar
Steps in the Delphi Method
• Systematically search for all ideas in the area (e.g.
websites, books, previous guidelines). Make no judgments
about whether they are good or bad.
• Make a questionnaire with each item expressing one idea
• Give this questionnaire to the panel of experts to make
private ratings on each item
• Feed back the results of the whole panel to each member
and give them another chance at rating
• Retain items with a very high level of consensus, e.g.
80+% agreement
• Merge the agreed items into continuous prose. Give the
panel a final look for comments
Guidelines for Mental Health First
Guidelines to Help an Employee Return to
Work Following a Mental Health Problem
Putting Guidelines Into Practice
• Developing guidelines will not in itself change
• There needs to be an implementation plan
• They can be used as a basis for professional training
• They can be used as an information resource when
professionals face a difficult situation
• We have found evidence that people do use guidelines
downloaded from the web to change what action they
take and this can have positive benefits
Should Australian Financial
Counsellors Develop Their Own