Mental Health First Aid – Evidence Base Review

A report reviewing the state of evidence for the effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in key target populations was conducted to help the California Mental Health Services Authority’s planning for future prevention and early intervention activities.

According to the findings, MHFA appears to be helpful in improving knowledge of mental health issues and reducing stigma across most of CalMHSA target populations. An increase in providing help to others with mental health needs was self-reported, particularly by public-sector employees. The report concludes that while it is “unlikely that the effects of MHFA training would vary greatly between the general Australian and US populations, the limited evidence base for ethnic minority groups is potentially a strong limitation.” Key groups in California, such as Latinos and African Americans, have not been studied. As there are differences in cultures with respect to beliefs about mental illness this indicates the need for further studies.

Read the report here.