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Mental Health First Aid Training With Members of the Public in a Rural Area
ISRCTN ISRCTN53887541
DOI 10.1186/ISRCTN53887541
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier
EudraCT number
Public title Mental Health First Aid Training With Members of the Public in a Rural Area
Scientific title
Acronym N/A
Serial number at source N/A
Study hypothesis A Mental Health First Aid course has been developed which trains members of the public in how to give initial help in mental health crisis situations and to support people developing mental health problems. This course has previously been evaluated in a randomized controlled trial in a workplace setting and found to produce a number of positive effects. However, this was an efficacy trial under relatively ideal conditions. The present trial is an effectiveness trial in which the course was given under more typical conditions. The hypotheses were that individuals trained in Mental Health First Aid, when compared to wait-list controls, would have increased knowledge of mental disorders and their treatments, decreased social distance, increased confidence in providing help, and that they would provide greater help to people experiencing mental health problems. The findings were that training produced significantly greater recognition of the disorders, increased agreeement with health professionals about which interventions are likely to be helpful, decreased social distance, increased confidence in providing help to others, and an increase in help actually provided. There was no change in the number of people with mental health problems that trainees had contact with nore in the percentage advising someone to seek professional help.
Lay summary
Ethics approval Not provided at time of registration
Study design Randomised controlled trial
Countries of recruitment Australia
Disease/condition/study domain Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Participants - inclusion criteria Members of the public living in a rural area of Australia. The trial examines the ability of participants to provide initial help to people who have a mental disorder.
There were 753 participants, 416 in the intervention group and 337 in the control group. These were members of the community, not patients.
Participants - exclusion criteria Not provided at time of registration
Anticipated start date 01/10/2002
Anticipated end date 31/10/2003
Status of trial Completed
Patient information material
Target number of participants 753
Interventions Participants are randomly assigned to receive either the Mental Health First Aid course or no intervention. (The control group receives the course once the trial is finished). The Mental Health First Aid course trains members of the public to provide initial help to people in mental health crisis situations and in the early stages of a mental disorder.
Primary outcome measure(s) Recognition of mental disorders in vignettes, agreeement with health professionals about which interventions are likely to be helpful for the persons portrayed in the vignettes, social distance from people with mental disorders, confidence in providing help to others, contact with people with mental disorders, amount and type of help actually provided.
Secondary outcome measure(s) Not provided at time of registration
Sources of funding New South Wales Department of Health,
National Health and Medical Research Council
Trial website
Publications Results: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15500695
Contact name Prof  Anthony  Jorm
  Address Centre for Mental Health Research
Australian National University
  City/town Canberra
  Zip/Postcode 0200
  Country Australia
  Tel +61 2 61258414
  Fax +61 2 61250733
  Email anthony.jorm@anu.edu.au
Sponsor Australian Centre for Mental Health Research
  Address Australian National University
  City/town Canberra
  Zip/Postcode 0200
  Country Australia
  Tel +61 2 61258414
  Fax +61 2 61250733
  Email anthony.jorm@anu.edu.au
Date applied 22/11/2003
Last edited 10/09/2007
Date ISRCTN assigned 01/12/2003
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