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Study shows positive benefits from the Youth Mental Health First Aid in Schools Programme.

A recently published evaluation of the first year of the Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in Schools Programme indicates that the initiative is having positive benefit in  helping to tackle youth mental health issues.

The Department of Health and Social Care-funded scheme has indicated an intention to  train a member of staff in every state secondary school in the country in mental health awareness by 2020.

The study reports that, as a result of the training, MHFA Champions:

  • Have increased confidence in knowledge, skills and awareness of the complexities surrounding young people’s mental health needs within the school environment.
  • Experienced enhanced perception of confidence in their mental health knowledge, their use of mental health related dialogue, their use of mental health evidence-based practice and mental health inclusive practice within their educational setting.
  • Reported enhanced ability to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination
  • Indicated an increased understanding of their evidence-based practice when provisioning preventative and protective factors to young people with mental ill health.


Nonetheless the stigma surrounding mental ill health is reported as a significant barrier to students feeling confident to speak openly on mental health issues.

 

Read the full report here