Large-Scale Training in Mental Health First Aid
Feb 7, 2023
More than 155,000 New Yorkers were trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) between 2016 and 2020. The authors conducted a mixed-methods study that included a web-based survey of past trainees and a series of focus groups to assess the impact of the MHFA trainings and needs for continued training in the future.
Does not include Appendixes.
|PDF file||1.1 MB|
|PDF file||0.5 MB|
More than 155,000 New Yorkers were trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) between 2016 and 2020. Free citywide trainings were made available to all New Yorkers and were disseminated through city agencies and community-based settings. RAND Corporation researchers conducted a mixed-methods study that included a web-based survey of past trainees and a series of focus groups with leaders of community-based organizations and city agency staff to assess the impact of the MHFA trainings and needs for future training. In this report, the authors describe the evaluation activities that took place; the methods behind them; and the results at the individual, agency, and community levels. They also offer recommendations for ways to improve future mental health education efforts.
Respondents applied MHFA skills extensively and broadly across their social networks. Nine in ten respondents had contact with an individual with a mental health problem in the past six months. Among those who had contact, 84 percent indicated using their MHFA skills to help a friend or family member, and nearly half reported applying skills with a co-worker, neighbor, or acquaintance. Because MHFA was offered through city agency workplaces and community-based settings, tens of thousands of New Yorkers were given tools to come to the aid of individuals in their personal and professional lives. MHFA may be a promising approach to building supportive social networks, organizations, and communities that are primed to recognize and assist those experiencing mental health challenges.
Survey Results — All Respondents
Survey Results Among Subset of City Agency Employee Respondents
Impact of Mental Health First Aid Among Sociodemographic and Community Groups
Focus Groups with Community Leaders and City Agency Staff
Conclusions and Recommendations
The research described in this report was the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity and conducted in the Social and Behavioral Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.