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Blended Mental Health First Aid for Educational Institutions

Five Immediate Benefits of the In-House MHFA Instructor Programme at the India Office of a Multinational Banking Corporation

I am Erinda Shah. As Founder of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) India, I observe closely the status of mental health in the country. As indicated by the statistics, workplaces need to take immediate action to contribute in arresting the declining status of mental health in our country:

  • 42.5 % of Indian employees live with mental health problems. (ASSOCHAM, 2015)
  • 10.6 % of people have a diagnosable mental illness, 20% have depressive disorders. (National Mental Health Survey, 2016)
  • People aged 30 to 49 years are most affected, leading to productivity loss.
  • India ranks No.2 in employee burnout (29%). (Microsoft Work Trend Index)
  • Over half (57%) of Indian employees overworked; 32% exhausted.


MHFA India’s Efforts at Indian Workplaces

Since its inception in 2017, MHFA India has been working relentlessly to promote mental health education among workplaces and among the general public. Analysing the feedback from trained MHFA participants, we see that the MHFA course has been an impactful investment:

  • 100% of people trained said they will recommend the MHFA course to others.
  • 96% of learners found the MHFA course helpful in terms of clarity, topics covered, ease of understanding, practicality, novelty, and relevance.
  • MHFA Indian trained thousands of learners across all 28 states and 4 UTs of India from different sectors till year 2021.


MHFA India’s In-House Instructor Programme for Workplaces

I am glad to notice that Indian corporates are increasingly acknowledging the significance of mental health education among their workforce and taking huge strides towards this direction. To support corporate houses in this journey, MHFA India has launched the In-House MHFA Instructor for Workplaces programme. This programme offers business organisations the opportunity to train a few staff members to become resident MHFA Instructors. These Instructors can then teach the MHFA course to several batches of learners within their organisation. Our recent customer, a banking corporation, had taken the lead and successfully deployed the In-House MHFA Instructor programme in its Chennai office.


Multinational Banking Corporation Adopts the In-House MHFA Instructor Programme

The Chennai-based India office of a banking corporation, which works on sustainable economic growth, has been trailblazing in their mission to impart the sustainable MHFA mental health education programme to their workforce across India. Navya Naarang, a long-time counsellor was trained by MHFA India as In-House Instructor to equip the bank’s staff with mental health education. Navya underwent rigorous training to be able to teach the MHFA course to her colleagues. This February, she delivered her very first training and I was there to provide my support. The structure of the MHFA programme mandates that a senior Instructor oversees the first few sessions driven by newly inducted Instructors. Such mentoring support from MHFA India ensures that the Instructors and the trainees adhere to the international quality of the MHFA course and its structured standards.


My Observations on the Banking Corporation’s In-House MHFA Instructor Programme

I would like to share with you five immediate benefits that I could observe during the MHFA training session that Navya led:

  1. The Bank’s India office has drawn up a mental health education agenda and training calendar, independent of MHFA calendar availability. The In-House Instructor-led MHFA programme has empowered them to train large numbers of trainers at their convenient pace.
  2. With the In-House Instructor commencing work at the organisation, the Bank’s mental health training cost has reduced by half. This is in comparison to the course fees the Bank would have had to pay, had they opted for MHFA India to train multiple batches of their staff.
  3. I noticed that the MHFA programme gained some additional flavour and value when led by the In-house Instructor.
  4. The teams could now seek mental health guidance from the In-House Instructor, who is a person familiar to them, with whom they already share a working relationship.
  5. Being a team member herself, Navya found it easier to open and sustain conversations among the trainees. The First Aider programme works on trust, and it was evident to me that the staff could easily approach the In-House Instructor for support.

Here, I reiterate the benefits of the In-House MHFA Instructor Programme for Workplaces and encourage you to consider it.

The In-House MHFA Instructor programme for Workplaces is a standardised, impactful mental health training programme formulated by MHFA International that gives your organisation these advantages:

  • The quality, content, and the structure of the course are set to the global MHFA standards.
  • The course has been acculturated to be practicable in the Indian context.
  • The In-House training programme is more cost-effective and efficient.
  • After they invest in an In-House Instructor, the organisation can train as many batches of staff as possible.
  • Organisations can arrange trainings at schedules drawn up per their convenience and to meet the health goals unique to the organisation.
  • Organisations can easily measure the knowledge gain among their workforce.


In Conclusion: Mental Health Education at Workplaces

Mental health problems adversely affect businesses in so many ways:

  • Increased absenteeism, lower productivity, revenue loss, and increases health costs3
  • Lower staff morale and engagement at work
  • Work stress a major cause of occupational ill health, poor productivity, and human error4
  • Mental health education: the most critical first step towards the goal of building mentally healthy and safe workplaces

It is heartening to note that corporate houses are adopting proactive steps to raise workplace awareness, incorporate mental wellbeing into organisational policies, and create safe spaces where staff can support one another’s mental health.

The In-House programme is the most practical option for large corporations with a huge employee base. In the long run, investing in the MHFA India courses proves to be a wise business decision, not only in the economic sense, but also in terms of being a high-impact solution that are well-aligned with their mental wellbeing policies.

Note on Privacy of Client:

At MHFA India, the communication policies and privacy of our clients is our highest priority. The name of the corporate client has been withheld to honour their organisational policies. Name of staff member has been changed to protect customer’s privacy.



  1. ASSOCHAM, 2015
  2. Microsoft Work Trend Index
  3. European Network for Workplace Health Promotion. Newsletter 09/2010/. [Accessed on 2010 November 9] [PubMed]
  4. Rajgopal T. Mental well-being at the workplace. Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2010;14(3):63–65. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.75691. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
19 Mar 2022