MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING FOR SUPERVISORS: WHY IT MATTERS AND WHAT WORKS
N. Greenberg, King's College London, UK
Most workers are vulnerable to developing mental ill-health. Prior research has shown those in managerial or supervisory positions have pivotal roles in creating a healthy work environment. However, little is known about how best to empower supervisors to improve staff mental health, occupational outcomes and reduce sickness absence.
To evaluate the effectiveness of active listening skills training (REACTMH) for supervisors of UK healthcare workers (HCWs).
Managers of HCWs were voluntarily enrolled on a REACTMH active listening skills training package. Attendees anonymously completed questionnaires before and immediately after attending the 1-h remote training session and again 1 month later. The questionnaire asked about confidence in recognizing, conversing with and supporting distressed colleagues as well as perceived usefulness and importance of the training and how often they had used the taught active listening skills.
Fifty-eight supervisors completed the REACTMH programme in July 2020; 32 (55%) completed the 1-month follow-up. Just less than half reported feeling confident in being able to identify, speak to and support potentially distressed staff before the training; significantly more (>80%) reported feeling confident 1 month afterwards (P < 0.001). Around three-quarters of attendees reported the REACTMH programme as highly useful, highly important and said they had frequently used the learned skills.
A brief active listening skills training package was associated with significant improvements healthcare manager’s confidence in recognizing, speaking with and supporting HCWs with suspected mental health conditions. Further research is needed to investigate the longer term effectiveness and acceptability of REACTMH training.
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