The RMHITP project evaluated the effectiveness of a mental health training program in: a) enhancing professionals awareness of mental health issues; develop competencies in mental health intervention; and build confidence in ability to handle mental health/mental illness issues as they arise in their communities and b) encouraging and training health professionals to practice collaboratively across disciplines. The training is specifically designed to support primary health care teams in the six rural communities targeted by the Working Together for Mental Health Services Strategy (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2003).
The six educational modules were: 1) interprofessional collaboration and collaborative practice in mental health; 2) building and maintaining productive relationships with patients; 3) using the frameworks of Stages of Change theory and Motivational Interviewing to address substance abuse; 4) working with adolescents and their families using Solution-Focused and Narrative Therapy approaches; 5) treating depression and anxiety with Cognitive-Behavioral techniques; 6) developing interprofessional Assertive Community Treatment and Crisis Management strategies. The program was systematically evaluated in six rural communities, using a controlled design and including both quantitative and qualitative outcomes measures.
The results indicated that participants confidence on treating mental health issues increased and that their attitudes to interprofessional collaboration improved.