Evaluation of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for the Armed Services Community
PHE ePoster Library. Crone D. Sep 13, 2016; 137943; 95 Disclosure(s): Libor Funded Project
Prof. Diane Crone
Prof. Diane Crone
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Abstract
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Abstract There is growing evidence in the UK that Armed Forces (AF) community members are less likely to engage with mental health support than the general population. This lack of engagement has been attributed to mental health stigma and lack of trust in care providers. A useful avenue for supporting well-being and improving the mental health can be achieved through education that seeks to improve mental health literacy. This paper presents findings from a Mental Health First Aid intervention to support mental health literacy among members of the Armed Forces community in the UK. Mixed method evaluation included both quantitative (surveys) and qualitative (interviews and focus groups) elements. A pre- and post-training survey assessed shifts in trainee (n=602) knowledge, attitudes, and confidence from pre-training to post-training. The qualitative aspect comprised of semi-structured telephone interviews with trainees post-training (n=13 trainees) and focus groups with trainers (n =14 trainers). Quantitative findings revealed from pre- to post-intervention (the training course) trainees showed a significant increase in knowledge, attitudes, and confidence. Importantly, this effect was sustained at the 10 month follow-up. Qualitative findings reported increased knowledge, understanding and confidence in talking about and communicating with people who have mental health issues; improved listening skills, advice giving, and confidence in asking difficult questions regarding mental health issues. These findings provide evidence that the MHFA AF programme has helped to improve mental health literacy, and reduce stigma and misunderstandings surrounding mental health in the UK Armed Forces community. External funding details Funded through Libor Funding, which was administered by SSAFA.
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