Mental health conditions are prevalent and can significantly impact a person's functioning; however, it can be challenging for an untrained individual to know when or how to provide assistance to a person experiencing a mental health concern. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) was developed to provide people with training and guidelines to improve their mental health literacy, decrease stigma, and increase their confidence and willingness to offer aid to individuals experiencing a mental health disorder or crisis. Given recent initiatives to expand the implementation of MHFA programs and increased efforts to evaluate it with more rigorous designs, a comprehensive and systematic review of the evidence base is warranted. This study investigated and quantified, via meta-analytic methodology, MHFA outcomes (i.e., knowledge, attitude, behavior) for the training participant as well as both a quantitative and narrative review for the individual experiencing a mental health disorder or crisis. We conducted a comprehensive search for eligible studies that utilized either a control or comparison group. This resulted in 15 studies for inclusion in the meta-analysis. Small-to-moderate effect sizes were found for the primary outcomes for the trainees; however, preliminary evidence suggests effects for the recipients were more difficult to observe. Study quality had a significant moderating effect. Overall, MHFA appears to be an effective intervention for increasing knowledge about mental health, decreasing stigma and social distance, and increasing trainees' confidence in approaching and providing aid to an individual experiencing a mental health disorder or crisis. Considerably greater attention and effort in demonstrating effects on recipients is needed with future empirical investigations.
A Plan B Project submitted to the Faculty of University of Minnesota by Amy K. Maslowski
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts, May 2018.
College of Education and Human Service Professions, University of Minnesota Duluth.
Maslowski, Amy, K.
Examination of the Effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid Among the Public: A Meta-Analysis.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.
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