Current Projects

Mental Health First Aid Research Projects

Guidelines for financial counsellors and banking staff working with people with mental health problems and financial difficulties
There is a need for specific guidelines for the financial counselling and banking sectors in how to work with people with mental health problems and financial difficulties. We are using the Delphi method to gather the expert consensus of professionals with financial or mental health expertise, consumers and carers. Once developed, these guidelines will be freely available on the MHFA website and will be used to inform supplementary training resources to the Standard MHFA course.

This project has funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and ANZ, beyondblue, GE Money, NAB and Westpac.

The survey to develop MHFA Guidelines for people with mental health problems and financial difficulties is now closed.  Thank you to all who got involved. We have had a great response with around 200 people completing the survey.  Watch this space for further updates.

Evaluation of Mental Health First Aid for financial counsellors, nursing and medical students
In 2012, as part of an Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing suicide prevention initiative, Mental Health First Aid Australia was successful in a funding application to tailor its 12-hour Standard Mental Health First Aid Program for medical students, nursing student and financial counsellors. Part of the funding includes an evaluation of these tailored courses (both the face to face and e-learning delivery). The purpose of this research is to investigate the impact of the training on:

  • Mental health first aid intentions
  • Mental health and suicide literacy
  • Confidence in providing help
  • Stigmatising attitudes.

It involves pre- and post- course tests and may also include a 6-month follow-up component.

This project has funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

If you have any questions about this research, please contact Kathy Bond kathybond@mhfa.com.au

Guidelines on how to give Mental Health First Aid to Aboriginal adolescents
A Delphi consensus study has been undertaken in order to develop these Guidelines, drawing on the expertise of the Aboriginal MHFA Instructors and other Aboriginal mental health professionals who have experience in working with Aboriginal youth. Once developed, these guidelines will inform a Youth Aboriginal MHFA supplementary booklet and a short film demonstrating how to give MHFA to an Aboriginal adolescent.

The survey to develop Guidelines on how to give mental health first aid to Aboriginal adolescents is now closed.  Thank you to all who got involved. Watch this space for further updates.

Help giving towards people with a mental illness
This study, run by the Population Mental Health Group at the University of Melbourne, is part of a PhD thesis investigating the factors that influence helping behaviour towards people with a mental illness. The aim is to interview Mental Health First Aid course participants about their helping experiences to better understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviours in these situations. It is hoped that the findings of this project can be used to identify barriers and enablers of help provision towards people with a mental illness which can become the focus of public education campaigns aimed to improve rates of helping within the Australian community.

Currently recruiting: The researchers are seeking people aged over 18 and living in Melbourne, Australia to complete a 1-2 hour face to face interview, for which you will be reimbursed $20 for associated costs. To participate in the interview, you must also have completed a Mental Health First Aid course before August 2013 and not work in an area that involves regular professional contact with people with mental health problems. If this sounds like you, please contact Alyssia at alyssia.rossetto@unimelb.edu.au for more information.

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

Development and evaluation of teen Mental Health First Aid
The teen Mental Health First Aid Program (teen MHFA) is a new training course that will be designed for adolescents aged between 16 and 18 years, to be delivered in school classrooms or to groups or clubs of between 15-30 students.

In 2013, an uncontrolled trial of the program in 4 Victorian schools showed it was successful in improving young people knowledge about how to assist a friend with a mental health problem. See an infographic of the results of this trial.

A controlled trial starting in 2014 will determine whether this translates into actions taken to help a friend.Training for Youth MHFA Instructors who wish to conduct tMHFA courses has now commenced.

Mental Health First Aid Guidelines for Workplaces
This study aims to develop guidelines for workplaces when delivering mental health first aid to employees. A delphi consensus study will be undertaken, drawing on the expertise of managers, mental health and workplace health professionals and consumer advocates. It is important because little is known on what are appropriate evidence-based actions for workplaces to take when an employee is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health related crisis. Once developed, these guidelines will be freely available on the MHFA website.

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.

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.

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