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Peer-Based Mental First Aid Following Workplace Incidents

Implementation Evaluation

Teperi, Anna-Maria PhD; Pajala, Riikka MSc; Lantto, Eero MSocSci; Kurki, Anna-Leena MA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 8 - p 659–668
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001625
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
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The study evaluated the implementation of peer-based Mental First Aid (MFA) in a city organization. Its aim was to examine (1) the participants’ user experiences of MFA, (2) the developmental needs of the MFA implementation process, and (3) whether and how the implementation of MFA changed the City's safety management. The data were from interviews, feedback from MFA testing and training, safety management documents, and a survey. MFA became established in the organization and there was a clear need for it. It was considered easy to use and had a low user threshold. It added value to traditional occupational safety and health practices by improving the participants’ own practical skills to systematically manage the human factors of safety. MFA implementation needs clear management structures and a systematic commitment and learning process.

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Safety Solutions, Helsinki, Finland (Dr Teperi and Mr Lantto); Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Safety Solutions, Turku, Finland (Ms Pajala); Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Digitalization, Helsinki, Finland (Ms Kurki).

Address correspondence to: Anna-Maria Teperi, PhD, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Safety Solutions, Topeliuksenkatu 41 b, FI-00032 Helsinki, Finland (anna-maria.teperi@ttl.fi).

The Finnish Work Environment Fund.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Clinical Significance: Peers implementing MFA have a linking function between persons in need of help and occupational health care. Referring to a specialist can be done through MFA if necessary. Peers possess relevant information on incidents, and they can assess reactions to them at a basic level.

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Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine