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Psychiatr Serv. 2016 Mar;67(3):350-3. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2015 Nov 2.

Impact of Mental Health First Aid on Confidence Related to Mental Health Literacy: A National Study With a Focus on Race-Ethnicity.

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With the exception of Dr. McFaul, all of the authors are with the University of New Mexico, where Dr. Crisanti, Dr. Silverblatt, and Mr. Pyeatt are with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Community Behavioral Health, and Dr. Luo is with the Department of Internal Medicine (e-mail: ). Dr. McFaul is with Grit Digital Health, Denver, Colorado. During this study and manuscript preparation, she was with the Mental Health Program, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Boulder, Colorado.



Low mental health literacy (MHL) is widespread in the general population and even more so among racial and ethnic minority groups. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) aims to improve MHL. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of MHFA on perceptions of confidence about MHL in a large national sample and by racial and ethnic subgroup.


The self-perceived impact of MHFA on 36,263 people who completed the 12-hour training and a feedback form was examined.


A multiple regression analysis showed that MHFA resulted in high ratings of confidence in being able to apply various skills and knowledge related to MHL. Perceived impact of MHFA training differed among some racial and ethnic groups, but the differences were small to trivial.


Future research on MHFA should examine changes in MHL pre-post training and the extent to which perceived increases in MHL confidence among trainees translate into action.

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