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Mental Health First Aid Research Projects

Now recruiting

Exploring the Role of Mental Health First Aid Officers in Workplaces

The aim of this study is to explore how Mental Health First Aid Officers are selected and supported in their organisation, how they fit into an overall strategy on workplace mental health and the benefits and challenges workplaces have experienced with the role to date. It is hoped that the research will result in recommendations for other workplaces when appointing Mental Health First Aid Officers.

The researchers are seeking the involvement of participants from organisations or worksites anywhere in Australia that have a current Mental Health First Aid Officer appointed for at least 6 months. The project aims to interview multiple individuals within each organisation in order to gain insights from different staff involved in the implementation of Mental Health First Aid Officers.

Contact Nataly Bovopoulos if you would like more information. Also

Current Projects

Development of guidelines for helping an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person with gambling problems: mental health first aid guidelines

Using the Delphi research methodology, we are developing guidelines that will provide guidance to members of the public on helping an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who has gambling problems. The guidelines will be freely available to download from the Mental Health First Aid Australia website: www.mhfa.com.au

Contact Kathy Bond if you would like more information.

Evaluating the usefulness of downloaded guidelines on how to help someone with gambling problems

Using the Delphi method Mental Health First Aid Australia and the University of Melbourne in consultation with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and Turning Point developed international guidelines for how to help someone with gambling problems. We are now evaluating the usefulness of these guidelines when downloaded.

Contact Kathy Bond if you would like more information.

Development of gatekeeper training to improve the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to prevent youth suicide

This project aims to develop and evaluate suicide prevention gatekeeper training courses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and for non-Aboriginal frontline workers, which will empower them to take action to reduce the risk of suicide and self-injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. More specific aims are:

  1. To carry out Delphi expert consensus studies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide experts to establish best practice guidelines on how to provide mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander young person who is at risk of suicide or self-injury.
  2. To develop gatekeeper training courses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and for non-Aboriginal frontline workers based on the best practice guidelines.
  3. To train the existing national network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid (AMHFA) Instructors in the new courses.
  4. To evaluate uptake of the new training in terms of roll-out by AMHFA Instructors and factors associated with successful roll-out.
  5. To evaluate the impact of the training on community members and frontline workers who work with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander youth in terms of knowledge of how to assist, increased confidence to assist, stigmatizing attitudes and increased first-aid behaviours.
  6. To communicate the methodology, the content of the courses, and the results of the evaluation of the program to advocates, representative agencies and ministerial appointed groups that may be involved in suicide prevention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

This study is being carried out in a partnership between MHFA Australia and the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne with funding from an NHMRC targeted research grant.

WorkplaceAid: a randomised controlled trial on improving MHFA skills in the workplace

This study looks at the effects of 2 delivery models of MHFA training in the workplace with Victorian public servants. It compares a tailored eLearning MHFA courses combined with a face-to-face session (the blended MHFA course), a tailored eLearning MHFA course only and an eLearning Apply First Aid (control condition). The aim is to look at the effects on mental health first aid knowledge, recognition of mental health problems, stigmatising attitudes, supportive behaviour if someone at work develops a mental health problem, confidence in providing this help and participant mental health. The study will look at the effects of the training immediately after, then one year and two year post training. This study is being carried out in a partnership between MHFA Australia and the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne with funding from an NHMRC project grant. See workplaceaid.net.au/.

TeenAid: a randomised controlled trial on improving MHFA skills in upper high school students

This is a cluster randomised controlled trial of the teen MHFA course with secondary high school students in Years 10-12 in 4 Victorian schools. The 1hr X 3 sessions teen MHFA course will be compared with a short physical first aid course as the control. Students will be assessed at pre, post and 12 months after training. Knowledge, attitudes, confidence, belong behaviour and student mental health will be assessed. This study is a partnership between MHFA Australia and the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global health, University of Melbourne. Funding is from a project grant from Australian Rotary Health.

First aid training for parents of teenagers

A large randomised controlled trial is being carried out to find out if providing Mental Health First Aid training to parents when their child is in early adolescence has a long-term benefit to their relationship with their child and to the child’s mental health. Mental health first aid training is being compared to Red Cross first aid training as a control. See www.tpot.net.au

Population Mental Health Group (PMHG) Projects

Co-founder of MHFA Australia Professor Tony Jorm (based at the University of Melbourne) leads the Population Mental Health Group in conducing research into mental health literacy (the public's knowledge and attitudes about mental health). This information directly relates to the MHFA Program, given our aim to reduce stigma and improve the level of mental health literacy of the community.

Partners in Parenting Study

The teenage years are a period of rapid growth, and with this can come highs and lows. Parents may find it challenging to figure out the best ways to support their teenagers when the lows become concerning, or when symptoms of anxiety or depression develop. With limited evidence-based resources available to parents, the teenage years can be a difficult and confusing time.

Researchers from Monash University and the University of Melbourne have developed a new online parenting program designed to empower parents to make sense of adolescence and parent their teenager with confidence. The program offers personalised, practical strategies in interactive online modules, that parents can use to support their teenager’s mental health. It is based on Parenting Guidelines that have been accessed by thousands of parents internationally, many of whom have found them very useful. If you’re a parent or guardian of a child aged 12 to 15 in Australia, you may be eligible to take part in a free trial of the program. Please note, we recently advertised a similar Partners in Parenting program. If you have already registered for that program, unfortunately you will not be eligible to register for this program. You can find out more, or register, at www.partnersinparenting.net.au or contact the researchers at med-partnersinparenting@monash.edu or on (03) 9905 1250.

See the PHMG website for more information on current mental health literacy projects.

Also see the Other MHFA Publications web page of the MHFA website for a list of published mental health literacy research.