Evaluation of participant reluctance, confidence, and self-reported behaviors since being trained in a pharmacy Mental Health First Aid initiative.
PLoS One. 2020;15(5):e0232627
Authors: Witry M, Karamese H, Pudlo A
In the U.S., an estimated one in five individuals experience a mental illness annually which contribute to significant human and economic cost. Pharmacists serving in a public health capacity are positioned to provide first aid level intervention to people experiencing a mental health crisis. Research on pharmacy professionals (pharmacists, technicians, students) undergoing training in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) can provide evidence of the potential benefits of such training. The objectives of this study were to 1) describe the reluctance and confidence to intervene in mental health crises of pharmacy professionals previously trained in MHFA, 2) describe their self-reported use of MHFA behaviors since becoming trained, and 3) describe participant open-ended feedback on their MHFA training.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An electronic survey was disseminated in May and June, 2019 using a four-email sequence to pharmacy professionals who had completed MHFA training from one of five pharmacist MHFA trainers throughout 2018. Domains included demographics, six Likert-type reluctance items, seven Likert-type confidence items for performing MHFA skills, and frequency of using a set of nine MHFA skills since being trained. Prompts collected open-ended feedback related to MHFA experiences and training. Descriptive statistics were used for scaled and multiple-choice items and a basic content analysis was performed on the open-ended items to group them into similar topics.
RESULTS: Ninety-eight out of 227 participants responded to the survey yielding a response rate of 44%. Participants reported high levels of disagreement to a set of reluctance items for intervening and overall high levels of confidence in performing a range of MHFA skills. Participant self-reported use of a set of MHFA skills ranged from 19% to 82% since being trained in MHFA. Almost half (44%) of participants had asked someone if they were considering suicide. A majority (61%) also had referred someone to resources because of a mental health crisis. Open-ended responses included positive experiences alongside important challenges to using MHFA in practice and recommendations including additional training focused on the pharmacy setting.
CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacy professionals in this evaluation reported little reluctance and high confidence related to using MHFA training and reported use of MHFA skills since being trained.
PMID: 32365115 [PubMed – in process]