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Summary of the evidence on the effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training in the workplace

The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training programme was first developed to train the public in providing help to adults with mental ill-health problems. Recently there has been an increase in undertaking MHFA training in workplace settings.

As the regulator for workplace health and safety, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) wishes to understand the strength of the available evidence on the effectiveness of MHFA in the workplace. A rapid scoping evidence review was undertaken that considered three research questions on the impact, influence and application of MHFA training in workplaces.

A number of knowledge gaps have been identified in this evidence review that mean it is not possible to state whether MHFA training is effective in a workplace setting. There is a lack of published occupationally-based studies, with limited evidence that the content of MHFA training has been considered for workplace settings. There is consistent evidence that MHFA training raises employees’ awareness of mental ill health conditions. There is no evidence that the introduction of MHFA training in workplaces has resulted in sustained actions in those trained, or that it has improved the wider management of mental ill-health.

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Updated 2018-08-16