The purpose of this study was to assess whether a multifaceted intervention could improve mental health literacy, facilitate help seeking and reduce psychological distress and alcohol misuse in staff of a multi-campus university in Australia.
In this cluster randomised trial (ACTRN12610001027000), nine campuses were paired, with one of each pair randomly assigned to either intervention or control. Interventions (which were whole-of-campus) included e-mails, posters, campus events, factsheets/booklets and mental health first aid training courses. A monitoring sample of staff were recruited from each campus. Participants had a 20-minute computer-assisted telephone interview at baseline, and at the end of academic years 1 and 2. The interview assessed mental health literacy, help seeking for mental health problems, psychological distress and alcohol use. The primary outcomes were depression and anxiety levels and alcohol use and pertained to the individual level. Six campuses were randomised to intervention and three to control and all campuses were included in the analysis.
There were no effects on depression and anxiety levels and alcohol use. Recall of intervention elements was greater in the intervention group at the end of the two-year assessment period. Staff in the intervention group showed better recognition of depression, greater knowledge of the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for safe levels of drinking and a greater intention to seek help for alcohol misuse from a general practitioner.
Future interventions should involve more focused interventions that include consideration of working conditions and their influence on mental health, as well as addressing mental illness among employees, regardless of cause.
Funding for the study was provided by beyondblue and by the NHMRC Australia Fellowship awarded to A.F.J. The authors would particularly like to acknowledge Fiona Blee for her work on implementing the MindWise interventions. The authors would also like to thank Dr Darko Hajzler for his assistance in implementing the interventions and Professor Dan Lubman for his advice on the assessment of alcohol misuse and the implementation of interventions to address this.
J. Reavley, N., V. McCann, T., Cvetkovski, S. and F. Jorm, A. (2014), "A multifaceted intervention to improve mental health literacy in employees of a multi-campus university: a cluster randomised trial", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 25-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-03-2013-0010Download as .RIS
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