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Research and Evidence Base

View the MHFA U.S.-based Research Summary, which provides an overview of the research conducted on MHFA programs in the U.S. to date!

45 peer-reviewed articles about the efficacy of MHFA have been published in the last 10 years

The peer-reviewed studies conducted show that individuals trained in the program:

  • Increase their knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental health and substance use challenges.
  • Can identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental health or substance use challenge.
  • Show reduced stigma and increased empathy toward individuals with mental health challenges.
  • Increase their confidence and likelihood to help an individual in distress.
  • Use the skills and information they learn in MHFA to manage their own mental wellbeing.

A recent study, reported in the peer-reviewed Journal of School Health, examines the effectiveness of tMHFA among American adolescents. Similar findings have been discovered by researchers from around the world.

How can you use the MHFA U.S.-based Research Summary? This information can help you:

  • Market your MHFA courses to potential participants.
  • Pitch the program’s importance to your organization or the organizations you work with.
  • Support grant applications to secure funding.
  • Showcase the evidence behind MHFA programs to your local, state and federal policymakers.

For more information on MHFA Research, or to share your research with us, please email

MHFA Doctoral Student Grants

Each year, the National Council will provide a one-time award of $5,000 to six outstanding full-time doctoral candidates who demonstrate significant potential as researchers in their fields of study and who are interested in evaluating the outcomes of MHFA trainings in the U.S. Learn more!

Mental Health First Aid Research Advisors

Mental Health First Aid USA introduced MHFA Research Advisors in 2021. This advisory group consists of respected mental health research experts who advise and assist Mental Health First Aid USA on ongoing research and future opportunities related to individual programs, including Youth MHFA, teen MHFA, MHFA at Work, and MHFA modules (Veterans, Higher Education, Public Safety, Fire and EMS, and Rural Communities.) This group demonstrates an active commitment to mental health equity through their research and community impact.

Learn more about the members of the MHFA Research Advisors.

Dr. David Albright, PhD, MSW

University of Alabama

Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson, PhD, LCP

University of Michigan

Dr. Bruno Anthony, PhD

University of Colorado, School of Medicine
Dr. Leopoldo Cabassa

Dr. Leopoldo Cabassa

Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Lisa Curtin

Dr. Lisa Curtin

Appalachian State University
Dr. Jodi Frey

Dr. Jodi Frey

University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work

Dr. Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH

Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Dr. Kimberely Gryglewicz, PhD, MSW

University of Central Florida
Dr. Patricia Haynes

Dr. Patricia Haynes

University of Arizona
Dr. Douglas Knutson

Dr. Douglas Knutson

Oklahoma State University
Dr. Sarah Ketchen Lipson

Dr. Sarah Ketchen Lipson

Boston University

Dr. Othelia E. Lee, PhD

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dr. Olga Price, PhD

George Washington University
Dr. Erika Sabbath

Dr. Erika Sabbath

Boston College

Dr. Pamela Valera, PhD, MSW

Rutgers University School of Public Health

Dr. Cixin Wang, PhD

University of Maryland – College Park

Dr. Holly Wilcox, PhD

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Medicine, School of Education
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