Mental health literacy : A review of applications and effectiveness in the higher education workplace Massie, Miranda A.
A growing body of international evidence indicates that education, prevention efforts and early intervention are critical to the mental health of our populations. These efforts are taking place across social systems and within organizational structures including public health, educational institutions and workplaces. Purpose: To review current literature in an effort to identify themes related to successful workplace-based mental health literacy (MHL) programs, specifically in the area of higher education. The purpose was also to use a UBC case study to highlight potential connections between existing evidence and higher education applications. Method: The bodies of literature consulted for the review were reflective of the unique interplay between the concept (MHL), context (workplaces) and setting (higher education) of this project. The supporting case study synthesizes the training outcomes of staff and faculty participants in two mental health literacy (MHL) education programs, and outlines the results of post-training surveys designed to measure MHL measures collected from 191 training participants. Findings: The project identified multiple sets of promising practices in areas of effective workplace health promotion, successful mental health literacy applications, and higher education workplace interventions. It also revealed a gap in current research examining MHL outcomes within higher education workplaces. The UBC case study results aim to close this gap by demonstrating the value and effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid and The Working Mind in increasing MHL of staff and faculty. Next steps: The aim of this paper is to grow the emerging research in this area as well as support the current MHL training efforts within UBC’s department of Human Resources.
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