In 2010 a Partnership project between MHFA England and the North East Mental Health Development Unit delivered MHFA courses to 382 people across 23 venues in North East England. Post course questionnaires were evaluated by Dr Jo Borrill (University of Westminster).
Delegates were asked to rate on a scale of 1-5 their knowledge and confidence in supporting people with mental health issues. The study found:
Median knowledge rating increased from 3 (limited) to 4 (good), a highly statistically significant result (p<.001) The percentage rating their own knowledge as good/excellent increased from 32% to 90%
Median confidence rating increased from 3 (limited) to 4 (good); a highly statistically significant result (p<.001) The percentage rating their own confidence as good/excellent increased from 27% to 90%
From a qualitative perspective, the researchers highlighted that:
There were “many comments provided on how training had changed their attitudes to people with mental health problems”, on the basis of “better understanding, normalisation, and reduction in fear and stigma”
Participants planned to “be more compassionate and supportive, listen more, identify signs and use skills and tools learned”
“A number of participants also described how training would help them in their personal lives, within their families and as carers”