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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 Carol Coole1
  • Dr Fiona Nouri1
  • Dr Jennifer Geraghty1
  • Dr Louise Thomson2
  • Professor Patrick Callaghan2

Staff institutions

  • The 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 whose employees have received MHFA training.
  • To explore the perceptions and experiences of key stakeholders regarding the awareness, acceptability, uptake and impact of MHFA within their organisation. Barriers and facilitators to implementation will be identified
  • To identify how the impact of MHFA might best be measured from the perspective of each of the main stakeholder groups, particularly employees who use/might use MHFA support in the workplace.
  • To determine how MHFA can be defined and described in order to test its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
  • To present and disseminate a set of case studies demonstrating how MHFA is currently being implemented in a range of workplaces/organisations, and to make recommendations on the content and delivery of the intervention in the workplace. 


A mixed methods approach will be used in three phases:

Phase 1

An online survey of all the organisations that have funded at least one of their staff to attend the MHFA training delivered by MHFA England. Potential organisations and clients will be identified by MHFA England’s Client Experience Team, training instructors, and via social media. In addition, an internet search of other mental health and workplace training interventions will be conducted. This will be followed by documentary analysis of those identified in order to compare objectives, content, cost, and duration.

Phase 2

Group and/or individual interviews with representatives of key stakeholder groups (n=60 max), selected from a sample of six of the organisations participating in Phase 1. Purposeful sampling will be used to represent a diversity of sectors and workforce size.

Phase 3

Findings from Phases 1 and 2 will be synthesised with relevant literature to develop a set of recommendations on workplace MHFA. This will include the recommended content of MHFA training and implementation of the intervention within organisations. A set of case studies will be produced to report on how MHFA is currently being delivered in a range of workplaces. 

Stage of development 

The study began in May 2017. The research team have put together an expert panel to advise on aspects of the study. This panel consists of individuals from different backgrounds to bring unique insight to the study including PPI perspectives. Together with this panel, the research team have developed the study questionnaire and are currently piloting it.

Recruitment of employer organisations has begun via advertisements in newsletters and social media; liaising with MHFA England; and enlisting the help of instructors who provide MHFA training. Work around the documentary analysis has also begun. Phase 2 is likely to commence in October.

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