This international meta-analysis reviewed and analysed research on MHFA two day courses around the world and found that the course is effective at increasing participants’ mental health knowledge, confidence and intentions to provide assistance, and is also effective at reducing stigma, up to six months after training. 

The program was evaluated in several settings including workplaces, with university or health care students, members of the public, teachers, parents, and the military. Altogether the analysis comprised 18 studies and included 5,936 participants.

They found that MHFA training moderately improves mental health first aid knowledge, recognition of disorders and beliefs about the most effective forms of treatment for mental health issues. MHFA training also reduces stigma, increases confidence in assisting someone with a mental health issue and increases intentions to provide mental health first aid to a small extent. 

These effects were evident up to six months after completing the training. It is not clear whether these effects last beyond six months, and it is not clear whether MHFA training results in people providing appropriate mental health first aid to someone with a mental health issue.

View the full study:

Morgan AJ, Ross A, Reavley NJ | Systematic review and meta-analysis of Mental Health First Aid training: Effects on knowledge, stigma, and helping behaviour | PLOS One | May 2018