Bone and Joint Institute

Evaluating Mental Health Literacy in the Workplace: Development and Psychometric Properties of a Vignette-Based Tool

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Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation





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© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Purpose Early intervention and support for workers with mental health problems may be influenced by the mental health literacy of the worker, their colleagues and their supervisor. There are gaps, however, in our understanding of how to develop and evaluate mental health literacy within the context of the workplace. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a new Mental Health Literacy tool for the Workplace (MHL-W). Methods The MHL-W is a 16-question, vignette-based tool specifically tailored for the workplace context. It includes four vignettes featuring different manifestations of mental ill-health in the workplace, with parallel questions that explore each of the four dimensions of mental health literacy. In order to establish reliability and construct validity, data were collected from 192 healthcare workers who were participating in a mental health training project. Baseline data was used to examine the scale’s internal consistency, factor structure and correlations with general knowledge ratings, confidence ratings, attitudes towards people with mental illness, and attitudes towards seeking help. Paired t-tests were used to examine pre and post intervention scores in order to establish responsiveness of the scale. Results There was strong support for internal consistency of the tool and a one-factor solution. As predicted, the scores correlated highly with an overall rating of knowledge and confidence in addressing mental health issues, and moderately with attitudes towards seeking professional help and (decreased) stigmatized beliefs. It also appears to be responsive to change. Conclusions The MHL-W scale is promising tool to track the need for and impact of mental health education in the workplace.

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