Mental health first aid in the workplace (MENTOR) : A feasability study

Source avec lien : Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 2018.

Sensibiliser les gens à la santé mentale, réduire la stigmatisation et promouvoir et faciliter la recherche précoce d’aide sont reconnus comme des stratégies essentielles pour un milieu de travail mentalement sain. Cependant, les systèmes de soutien en milieu de travail peuvent être non disponibles, inaccessibles ou inconnus. Dans ce contexte, les premiers secours en santé mentale (PSSM) sont devenus un programme international qui vise à sensibiliser le public aux problèmes de santé mentale et à améliorer les attitudes. Cette étude cherche à combler les lacunes dans la base de données probantes en examinant la mise en œuvre, l’utilisation et l’utilité de la PSSM sur le lieu de travail.

Increasing people’s awareness of mental health, reducing stigma, and promoting and facilitating early help-seeking are recognised as key strategies for a mentally healthy workplace. However, people may delay seeking help because workplace support systems are not available, not accessible, or not known. In this context Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) has emerged as an international programme that seeks to raise awareness of mental ill health and improve attitudes. It also educates people about the ways that they can support those experiencing a mental health crisis, through a range of training programmes. However, MHFA is not specifically a workplace intervention and there has been little research conducted around its impact or success in the workplace or on the mental health of those receiving MHFA. This study seeks to address the gaps in the evidence-base by investigating the implementation, use and utility of MHFA in the workplace. Abstract Background Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an international training programme which trains individuals to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems. This enables them to initiate appropriate responses, such as listening, advising and signposting to other supports and services. In the UK, employers are increasingly funding members of their workforce to receive MHFA training, as it is regarded as an effective public health intervention for improving knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards mental health problems. However, MHFA is not specifically a workplace intervention and there has been little research conducted around its impact in the workplace or on the mental health of those receiving this support. The aim of the MENTOR study (MENtal health first aid in The wORkplace) was to investigate the implementation, use and utility of MHFA in the workplace. Methods There were three parts to the study. The first part was a scoping review to identify other training courses addressing mental health and suicide awareness used in workplaces. These were then compared with MHFA. The second part was a survey to investigate the extent and variability of the implementation of MHFA in organisations where at least one member of the workforce had received MHFA training. The third and final part involved interviewing participants from some of these organisations in order to gain richer insight into workplace MHFA implementation, use and utility. Results The findings of the scoping review suggested that other mental health courses and initiatives were available and used in workplaces. Although contents were broadly similar, costs were variable. Survey and interview data suggested that the active ingredients of successful workplace MHFA included clear rationales for introducing training, well-motivated MHFA coordinators and the existence of MHFA networks. Barriers to organisational success of the MHFA programme within organisations included the challenges around measuring impact, establishing boundaries within the role of the MHFA-trained person and inconsistent strategies for identifying trained workplace members and promoting their role. Specific issues around MHFA courses were also identified, including duration of the courses, opportunities for evaluating MHFA in the workplace and refresher training. Conclusions MHFA is one of a number of programmes to raise awareness of mental health issues in the workplace but seems to be the most widely used. Although the majority of survey and interview participants were largely positive about MHFA, a number of areas were identified which merit further attention: the use of training by organisations as a way of demonstrating that they were taking mental health seriously; inadequate operationalisation of boundaries for the trained person; and concern around the lack of evidence for MHFA. Focus should also be centred on whether and how the impact of MHFA on end users can be measured and recorded. Without further research and evaluation into the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of MHFA training, it cannot be ascertained whether MHFA is the best means of addressing and managing mental health issues in the workplace.

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