// Customer custom gtag code below:

02 August 2023

Wellbeing Champions vs. Mental Health First Aiders

Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders are crucial resources when it comes to raising employee wellbeing and resilience.

To ensure they are set up for success, it's essential to understand the differences between these two roles. Doing so ensures that you can maximise their potential and your investment in building a culture of wellbeing.

When wellbeing is strained, performance suffers. This is the case for 50% of adults who report difficulty in remaining healthy amid the cost-of-living crisis. Enter Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders. Crucial roles dedicated to boosting employee wellbeing and mental health.

It can be difficult to know which resource may be right for your organisation. That’s why it’s essential to understand each role’s distinct purpose. Doing so allows you to maximise your wellbeing budget and their potential in building a culture of healthy, high performance. In this article we explore the purpose of each role, their differences and which may be right for your organisation.


Roles and Responsibilities


Wellbeing Champions

Wellbeing Champions are passionate advocates of wellbeing. They act as a bridge between stakeholders and employees, bringing the wellbeing strategy to life.

Key Responsibilities 

• Promote Wellbeing: Wellbeing Champions promote all aspects of wellbeing. Examples include physical, mental, and social health. They promote wellbeing through organising initiatives (e.g., walk to walk challenges) and encouraging healthy habits.

• Foster a Positive Work Environment: Wellbeing champions engage directly with employees to create a supportive culture. They coach individuals to take control of their own wellbeing and signpost them to wellbeing resources.

• Collaborate with HR and Management: Wellbeing champions are the eyes and ears of the organisation. They collaborate closely with HR and management to ensure that initiatives align with employee needs.

To find out more about our Wellbeing Champion training, click below


Mental Health First Aiders

Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) respond to emerging mental health challenges by providing support and guidance. They are also at the forefront of breaking down mental health stigma.

Key Responsibilities 

• Provide Early Intervention and Support: Mental Health First Aiders are trained to recognise signs of mental health challenges and offer immediate support.

• Refer to Professional Help: Mental Health First Aiders can escalate support levels by referring employees to professional help (e.g., EAP).

• Reduce Stigma: Mental Health First Aiders work to destigmatise mental health issues by fostering open conversations across the organisation.

To find out more about our Mental Health First Aider training, click below


Key Differences

1. Focus Area: Wellbeing Champions focus on promoting overall wellbeing. In contrast, Mental Health First Aiders concentrate on providing specific support for mental health challenges and crises.

2. Scope of Activities: Wellbeing Champions are involved in a broad range of activities. They organise wellbeing campaigns and events, promote healthy habits and encourage employees to participate. Mental Health First Aiders’ offer support to those experiencing mental health difficulties and work to destigmatise mental health.

3. Training Requirements: Becoming a Mental Health First Aider requires specific mental health training by an accredited provider. Wellbeing Champions’ roles are more flexible, allowing for tailored training that aligns with the organisation’s needs.

4. Immediate Crisis Response: Mental Health First Aiders are usually involved in handling immediate crises. Meanwhile, Wellbeing Champions’ roles are more proactive and preventative.


Which is Right for Your Organisation?

Having a team of both Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders is advantageous. However, this may not be possible for all organisations. It’s preferable to invest in one role to its full potential rather than underutilising both. To help you explore further, consider these three key factors.

1. Existing Workplace Culture and Needs: The existing workplace culture sets the foundation for employee wellbeing initiatives. If the culture already has a positive attitude towards mental health and wellbeing, Wellbeing Champions can thrive in maintaining a positive work environment. On the other hand, if there is a significant stigma or lack of support, the presence of Mental Health First Aiders can play a crucial role in breaking this down. Neither role is superior to the other. The goal is to identify which role aligns best with the current culture and needs.

2. Resource Allocation and Existing Initiatives: Examine your organisation’s budget and available resources for training and ongoing support. If there is not sufficient budget to have both roles, consider which role will create a sustainable foundation for achieving your organisation’s long-term goals. Also evaluate your organisation’s current support services, such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) or counselling facilities. If there is no dedicated listening or counselling service in place, investing in Mental Health First Aiders can provide immediate mental health support to employees in distress.

3. Employee Feedback and Preferences: Gathering feedback directly from employees through surveys or focus groups is an integral part of making informed decisions. Understand their preferences for support and their comfort levels in approaching Wellbeing Champions or Mental Health First Aiders.



Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders are both front-line resources in building a culture of wellbeing. Each role uniquely contributes to breaking down barriers and promoting practises that support healthy performance. Understanding the differences between these roles is crucial to maximise your investment. When they are supported to meet their full potential, both roles excel at creating a lasting culture of wellbeing and healthy performance.

Start your journey in building a network of Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders by exploring our programmes.


About the author

SANDRA ORDEL is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist at The Wellbeing Project. She has extensive consulting experience within a wide range of organisations and industry sectors.

Enquire now

Talk to one of our friendly team about Wellbeing Champion or Mental Health First Aider training.

Enquire now