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The Adaptation and Implementation of the Mental Health First Aid Training Programme for Healthcare professional students

   School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

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  Prof Judith Strawbridge  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

One in four people experience a mental health problem every year and improving mental health care is an international priority. 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an educational programme for early intervention that teaches the practical skills needed to support someone who is developing a mental health problem or who is in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves. 

MHFA is recommended as gatekeeper training for suicide prevention by the Higher Education Authority. It has been evaluated amongst medical, nursing, physiotherapy, social work and pharmacy students internationally. The MHFA model is that the programme should be adapted for the setting in which it is delivered. Further research is needed to ensure the most appropriate course content for healthcare professional students in Ireland, to assess the impact of an inter-professional approach to delivery and to investigate the most feasible approaches to scaling its implementation. 

This research will:

• Explore mental health education for healthcare professionals through realist methods, determining what works for whom under what circumstances, examining the barriers and facilitators to providing specific training to support people with mental health difficulties

• Define the needs of healthcare professional students, patients and staff with regard to a first aid approach to mental health in Ireland through quantitative methods and qualitative methods

• Adapt the MHFA training to healthcare professional students and explore the potential for interprofessional learning

• Evaluate the impact of the training and investigate the feasibility of implementation or incorporation into healthcare curricula

• Be shaped though public and patient involvement.

Mandatory Specifications

Upper Second Class (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Desirable Requirements

• Proven ability to work independently and as an effective team member.

• Ability to communicate effectively.

• Strong organisational skills with the ability to produce results and prioritise tasks.

How do I apply?

 To apply, please access the following link and complete the application form in full:

Please complete all fields below in order to apply for the project below with Prof. Judith Strawbridge Ref: 2252 Project title: The Adaptation and Implementation of the Mental Health First Aid Training Programme for Healthcare professional students.

-Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individual feedback to applicants.

-Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview. 

-At this stage only successful candidates will be contacted to submit, CV, transcripts and other relevant documentation.

- Only their referees will also be contacted at this stage for a reference.

Applications must include:

(i) a completed application form

(ii) English language requirements – see

Deadline: All applications must be made online by 27 August 2022 (GMT)

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure the application form is completed in full on time. Late and/or incomplete applications will not normally be assessed. 

Further information on the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland can be found here: 

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