MENTOR: MENtal health first aid in The wORkplace: A feasibility study

Project duration

10 months

Funding body 

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

Project staff 

  • Professor Avril Drummond (PI)1
  • Dr Melanie Narayanasamy1
  • Dr Jennifer Geraghty1
  • Dr Carol Coole1
  • Dr Fiona Nouri1
  • Dr Louise Thomson2
  • Professor Patrick Callaghan2

Staff institutions

  • University of Nottingham1
  • The Institute of Mental Health2
  • London South Bank University3

Key objectives

The study aims to address the following research question: “How can Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) best address the mental health needs of employees?”

The objectives are as follows:

  • To investigate the extent and variability of the implementation of MHFA in organisations where at least one member of the workforce had received MHFA training
  • To explore the perceptions and experiences of key stakeholders regarding the active ingredients of MHFA, including the awareness, acceptability, delivery and impact of MHFA within their organisation, and facilitators of and barriers to implementation
  • To identify how the impact of MHFA might best be measured from the perspective of stakeholders, particularly employees who used MHFA support in the workplace
  • To make recommendations as to the content and delivery of the intervention in the workplace, and how it could best address the mental health needs of employees.


Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Nottingham Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences ethics committee on 08 May 2017 (REC ref: 14-1704) and the study was conducted in three parts:

  • The first part was a scoping review of workplace training courses in the UK that addressed mental health and suicide awareness. Internet searches were conducted using keywords. Specific information was extracted to enable a comparison of content, format, duration and cost.
  • The second part was a survey of organisations in which at least one person had attended MHFA training. Participants were asked to complete an online questionnaire exploring their perceptions around the implementation and use of MHFA in their workplaces. Data were subjected to descriptive analysis to provide an overview of the extent and variability of the implementation of MHFA in different workplaces.
  • The final part was an interview study conducted with participants from a sample of these organisations in order to gain richer insight into workplace MHFA. Six organisations were selected from the public, private and third sectors. The lead contacts identified from the survey were contacted and information about the interviews was circulated among the workforces of the six organisations. Semi-structured interviews explored the perceptions and experiences of the MHFA programme in relation to the workplace, including awareness, acceptability, delivery and impact. Mini case studies of the six organisations were produced, which provided descriptions and examples of implementation of MHFA in the workplace. Interview data were analysed thematically. Seven themes were identified that captured participants’ thoughts around the implementation, use and facilitators of, as well as the barriers to, workplace MHFA.

Stage of development 

The study was completed at the end of April 2018 and the study report will be available soon. Please look out for updates.

Contact for further information 

Avril Drummond, at


Rehabilitation Research Group

The University of Nottingham
School of Health Sciences
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 0843