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

One in three UK adults of working age is likely to be experiencing a mental health problem which may affect their ability to work. Such problems may lead to presenteeism (being at work but functioning less effectively) or lengthy sickness absences. Aside from the health and financial costs to individuals and families, there are substantial costs faced by employers, healthcare providers and the government.

Mental health problems costs the UK economy between £70-£100 billion per year, and are a leading cause of sickness absence with 15.8 million working days lost in 2016.

Increasing people’s awareness of mental health, reducing stigma, and promoting and facilitating early help-seeking are recognised as key strategies for a mentally healthy workplace. However, people may delay seeking help because workplace support systems are not available, not accessible, or not known. 

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an international initiative that seeks to raise awareness of mental ill health and improve attitudes. It also educates people about the ways that they can support those experiencing a mental health crisis, through a range of training programmes.

Many UK employers have funded members of their workforce to attend MHFA courses. Having trained individuals in the workplace may assist in the support of employees with a mental health crisis, thus reducing avoidable sickness absence.

There have been no studies, however, to investigate what impact MHFA has on the actual mental health of workplace recipients. Moreover, there is no evidence as to what the active ingredients of MHFA in the workplace are perceived to be. 

Programme aims

This is a feasibility study aiming to investigate the implementation, use and utility of MHFA in addressing the mental health needs of the workforce in those organisations where at least one member of staff has attended MHFA training provided by MHFA England.

Find out more about this research project.

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Rehabilitation Research Group

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

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