Since MHFA training began in 2000, many articles about the MHFA Program have been published in peer-reviewed journals and other credible publications. In summary, these articles demonstrate a community need to improve mental health literacy and mental health first aid responses as well as the influence of stigma on such actions, offer reflections on the rollout of MHFA in other countries, the experience of MHFA Instructors, the ‘radical efficiency’ of MHFA with regard to delivering good public outcomes for a low cost, and MHFA’s impact including MHFA Australia milestones.
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Wark S, Hussain R, Edwards H.
Training needs of staff supporting individuals ageing with intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. 2014 May;27(3):273-88. doi: 10.1111/jar.12087 Abstract.
People with an intellectual disability are living longer, due to improved care and technology. Australian researchers at the University of New England conducted a Delphi study with 31 disability care workers to identify the key training issues for staff who support a person ageing and with intellectual disability. Training for such support staff in the Mental Health First Aid was one of the recommendations arising from this study.
Mental health for all. Project Syndicate. Online publication. Full text article.
This article, written by Professor Tony Jorm for Project Syndicate provides a short overview of the MHFA program and a plea for the program to spread to a similar percentage of adult members of the public who have attended regular (physical) first aid courses.
MHFA: A growing movement trains laypeople to spot mental health concerns. What does it mean for psychologists? Monitor on Psychology. July/August 2013; Vol 44, No. 7. Full text article.
This feature article, published in the American Psychological Association July/August 2013, is about the MHFA Program here in Australia and its spread to the USA.
Jorm AF, Kitchener BA.
Noting a landmark achievement: Mental Health First Aid training reaches 1% of Australian adults. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. October 2011; Volume: 45 issue: 10, page(s): 808-813. Full text article
In an invited editorial for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, founders of MHFA Betty Kitchener and Professor Tony Jorm reflect on the factors contributing to the remarkable growth of the program over the last ten years. In its tenth year in 2011, MHFA has reached a milestone with 170,000 adults having attended a MHFA course in Australia, equivalent to 1% of the Australian adult population. The authors discuss the factors contributing to Mental Health First Aid’s success. HideArticles about International MHFA Programs
Crisanti AS, Pasko DK, Pyeatt C, Silverblatt H, Anastasoff J.
Dissemination challenges associated with MHFA in New Mexico: Insights from Instructors. Journal of Rural Mental Health. 2015; 39(1), 13-21. Abstract
Thirty one MHFA Instructors in New Mexico, USA completed an online survey about the challenges they encounter in delivering the MHFA course.
Lucksted A, Mendenhall AN, Frauenholtz SI, Aakre JM.
Experiences of graduates of the Mental Health First Aid-USA course. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion Apr 2015; 169-183. Abstract
Twenty people who had completed a MHFA course in the USA were interviewed about the impact of this training on them.
Ploper V, Jones R, Kraus DJ, Schmidt A, Corrigan P.
Feedback from American participants of a Mental Health First Aid training course. Journal of Public Mental Health. Vol. 14 Issue: 2, 118-121. Abstract
This study examines perceptions of 143 participants in MHFA courses conducted in Chicago, USA.
Mendenhall AN, Jackson SC.
Instructor insights into delivery of Mental Health First Aid USA: A case study of mental health promotion across one state. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion. Nov 2013; 275-287. Abstract
This study documents the experiences of MHFA Instructors who deliver the MHFA course in the USA. Instructors from one state in the USA (Kansas) were interviewed and surveyed about these experiences. Results demonstrated that a common reason for becoming an MHFA instructor was to have a community impact. The most frequently mentioned instructor-identified characteristic was strong teaching or presentation skills, with past clinical experience or education being helpful. It was also noted that agencies typically deliver MHFA in a team-teaching model, utilise informal marketing or advertisement and often offer the course at a financial loss.
Mendenhall AN, Jackson SC.
Mental Health First Aid USA in a Rural Community: Perceived Impact on Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviour. Social Work in Mental Health. Jul 2013; 563-577. Abstract
This study investigated the perceived impact of MHFA on individuals who took the course through a community mental health centre in rural Kansas. 176 MHFA individuals who completed the course were surveyed to assess their perception of the impact of completing the MHFA course. Findings corresponded with previous Australian MHFA studies that found outcomes including improved mental health literacy and changed attitudes and behaviours.
Otsuka K, Suzuki Y, Fujisawa D, Kato TA, Sato R, Aoyama-Uehara K, Hashimoto N, Suzuki S, Kurosawa M.
The activities of Mental Health First Aid-Japan Team. Seishin Shinkeigaku Zasshi. 2013;115(7):792-6. Abstract
The MHFA-Japan team was established in 2007. This article reports on Japan's rollout of MHFA for gatekeepers in Japan to help them assess risk factors and refer patients for professional care, and contribute to suicide prevention, as well as informing instructional activities in the area of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The National Council (USA) Magazine - 5th Anniversary Edition devoted to Mental Health First Aid USA. The National Council (USA) Magazine. Past issue (2013, issue 1). Full text
The National Council forms part of the coordinating body of Mental Health First Aid USA Issue 1, 2013 of the National Council Magazine was devoted to Mental Health First Aid USA and features contributions from Mental Health First Aid Australia.
Delivering a basic mental health training programme: Views and experiences of Mental Health First Aid instructors in Wales. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 2011 Oct;18(8):677-86. doi: 10.1111. Abstract
Using the sample sample of Instructors from the Terry (2010) qualitative study of MHFA Instructors in Wales, this study further explores the experiences of MHFA Instructors in Wales with regard to the themes of logistics, impact and experience.
Mental Health First Aid — rolling out across the UK. Journal of Public Mental Health. Vol. 8 Issue: 3, 33-37. Abstract
This article summarises the development and existing research of the MHFA Program, and its present position in the four UK regions.
Experiences of instructors delivering the Mental Health First Aid training programme. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 2010 Sep;17(7):594-602. Abstract
This qualitative descriptive study aims to extend the MHFA research-base relating to the experience of course attendees, by identifying the views and experiences of instructors delivering MHFA in Wales - exploring themes of support and pre-requisite skills.
HideMental health literacy articles
Cutler TL, Reavley NJ, Jorm AJ.
How ‘mental health smart’ are you? Analysis of responses to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Advances in Mental Health.2018; 16:1. Abstract
Mental health knowledge can improve long-term outcomes for people with mental illness. This research examines the knowledge that the Australian public has about mental health and its associations with mental health training, personal experience, age and gender. The descriptive analyses showed knowledge about depression was highest, while knowledge about anxiety and psychosis were lowest. People who reported experience with their own or friends/family mental health problems had higher odds of answering correctly, as did people who had completed any mental health training. Mental Health First Aid training was associated with higher odds of answering correctly for most items; with significantly larger odds for the item regarding suicidal thoughts. The availability of the Mental Health First Aid course should be increased to the Australian public.
Mason RJ, Hart LM, Rossetto A, Jorm AF.
Quality and predictors of adolescents׳ first aid intentions and actions towards a peer with a mental health problem. Psychiatry Research. July 2015; Volume 228, Issue 1, 31–38. Abstract
This study examined predictors of the quality of mental health first aid provided by adolescents to their peers in over 500 students from Australian secondary schools.
Rossetto A, Jorm AF, Reavley NJ.
Quality of helping behaviours of members of the public towards a person with a mental illness: a descriptive analysis of data from an Australian national survey. Annals of General Psychiatry. 2014, 13:2. Abstract
This article describes the findings from an Australian national survey measuring the quality of helping behaviours of members of the public towards a person with mental illness. Results indicated that the quality of the Australian public's mental health first aid knowledge and skills requires substantial improvement.
Loureiro LM, Jorm AF, Mendes AC, Santos JC, Ferreira RO, Pedreiro AT.
Mental health literacy about schizophrenia: A survey of Portuguese youth. BMC Psychiatry. 2013 May 7;13:129. Abstract
This study investigated the mental health literacy of Portuguese youth with regard to schizophrenia.
Loureiro LM, Jorm AF, Oliveira RA, Mendes AM, dos Santos JC, Rodrigues MA, Sousa CS.
Mental health literacy about depression: A survey of Portuguese youth. Early Intervention in Psychiatry. 2015 Jun;9(3):234-41. Abstract
This study investigated the mental health literacy of Portuguese youth about depression, in order to design school-based interventions.
Yap MB, Jorm AF.
Young people's mental health first aid intentions and beliefs prospectively predict their actions: Findings from an Australian National Survey of Youth. Psychiatry Research. 2012 Apr 30;196(2-3):315-9. Abstract
This study examined whether young people's first aid intentions and beliefs predicted the actions they later took to help a close friend or family member with a mental health problem.
Mental health literacy: Empowering the community to take action for better mental health. American Psychological Association. 2012 Apr;67(3):231-43. Abstract
Jorm discusses the relative lack of attention paid to mental health literacy (public knowledge about mental disorders) compared to knowledge about what actions to take for prevention, early intervention, and treatment of physical disorders. Nevertheless, as Jorm discusses, evidence that a range of interventions can improve mental health literacy, including whole-of-community campaigns, interventions in educational settings, Mental Health First Aid training, and information websites.
Yap MB, Jorm AF.
The influence of stigma on first aid actions taken by young people for mental health problems in a close friend or family member. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2011 Nov;134(1-3):473-7. Abstract.
Young people are an important source of first aid for mental health problems in people they are close to, but their first aid skills remain inadequate. This study examined the influence of stigma on first aid actions taken by young people to help someone close to them with a mental health problem.
Jorm AF, Blewitt KA, Griffiths KM, Kitchener BA, Parslow RA.
Mental health first aid responses of the public: Results from an Australian national survey. BMC Psychiatry. 2005;5:9. Abstract.
A national survey of 4000 Australian adults examined how they would respond to someone they know and care about who has a mental disorder. The results show that mental health first aid skills need improving in a number of areas. They also show that lack of knowledge of mental disorders and stigmatizing attitudes are barriers to people providing first aid.
More mental health literacy research can be found at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health's Population Mental Health Group publications web-page. MHFA Australia work with closely with this team, lead by MHFA co-founder Professor Tony Jorm. Their research is focused on mental health literacy of communities and is very relevant to the mission of MHFA Australia.