Since it began in 2000, Mental Health First Aid Australia has been committed to evaluating its training programs using rigorous, scientific studies. Information about all the evaluations published in academic journals can be read here:
Now that the MHFA Program has spread across Australia and to other countries, evaluations have been conducted by many different organisations. These studies have been conducted with various MHFA course participants , including members of the public and also public servants in Canberra, members of the public, including farmers in rural NSW, Vietnamese Australians and also Chinese Australians in Victoria, high school teachers in SA, football club leaders in rural Vic, pharmacists in Sydney, medical and nursing students in Universities across Australia, members of the public in Sweden and University staff in Canada.
These evaluation studies have included include pre-post studies, controlled trials and one meta analysis, which is a systematic review of the outcome measures of all MHFA evaluation studies. Across all the studies, positive effects and highly statistically significant results have been found, including increased mental health knowledge, decreased stigmatising attitudes, increased confidence to offer help to someone with a mental health problem and increased help-providing behaviours.
Because of the rigorous evaluation designs and excellent outcomes, the MHFA Program has been included the SAMSHA NREPP, which provides a list of mental health and substance use interventions which meet high standard of evidence-based programs and practices. Only a few Australian mental health interventions have been included in this list: http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/