This study set out to evaluate the effectiveness of Adult MHFA Half Day (‘Lite’) training for nurses in managing both their own wellbeing and that of the patients they work with. Nurses are under increasing amounts of stress and are also likely to encounter many patients with both diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health issues.

Second year nursing students at Coventry University were asked to self-evaluate their confidence levels in supporting people with a mental health issue both before and after attending the half day MHFA course. They reported a marked improvement in confidence, knowledge and skills for helping people in emotional distress

Qualitative comments on what they had learnt included:

  • "Everyone experiences a mental health problem differently.”

  • “Be careful of language used, don’t stigmatise.”

  • “Not to be worried about discussing self-harm and suicide.”

  • “Strategies to improve own resilience.”

The study concluded that the introduction of MHFA training into current nursing curricula is a step towards encouraging nursing students to develop a more person-centred approach to care.

Online in British Journal of Nursing:
Fessey, V., James, G., Pengelley, T. 2016: Mental Health First Aid: equipping the nurses of the future. British Journal of Nursing