Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has commissioned the Centre for Mental Health and London South Bank University to conduct a three year research project to study the impact of MHFA England interventions in the workplace. 

Starting in January 2020, the ‘Empower’ research project will be carried out over three years. It is the first academic study of its kind in the UK to explore the benefits to employees of mental health first aid intervention dispensed in the workplace by a specially qualified MHFA England professional.

The research will take the form of a randomised controlled trial, comparing businesses that are undergoing the Adult MHFA Two Day training courses to companies not using the scheme. The study aims to shed light on employee experiences of providing and receiving mental health first aid while exploring the effectiveness of the training programme, its economic impact and wider impact on organisational culture.

The business cost of mental ill-health at work is almost £35 billion a year nationwide. There is increasing understanding that employers can reduce some of these costs by taking positive action to improve mental health at work and create healthier, more productive businesses.

Licensed Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) has an international reputation as a successful mental health literacy programme for use in workplaces, schools, colleges and universities.

Most of the existing research on MHFA training globally has explored the impact of the training on those who have attended. However, this study, which starts in 2019, is the first to explore the benefits to those who receive mental health support from a MHFA England trained person.

It will also look at the overall benefits to the organisations which adopt our training and compare them with those who have not received it. 

MHFA England seeks to benefit organisations by delivering training and consultancy which:

  1. Gives employees the tools to keep themselves and their colleagues healthy

  2. Encourages help-seeking

  3. Empowers people with long term mental health concerns or disabilities to thrive in work

  4. Builds a supportive culture that stops preventable health issues arising

  5. Helps to embed positive, long term cultural change across organisations

To find out more about this study, contact the research team on mhfaproject@centreformentalhealth.org.uk.