Study shows best approach for training managers in mental health

A study commissioned by RSSB on behalf of the rail industry has found face-to-face and e-learning to be equally effective methods for training line managers in supporting staff with mental health problems.

The research, led by the Institute for Employment Studies, is the first randomised controlled trial of its kind to compare the two different training formats.

Comparing the different formats against a control group, the impact on participants was evaluated directly after the training and six weeks later. The results showed that both face-to-face and e-learning training delivered by Mind, the mental health charity, led to sustained changes in the line managers knowledge about mental health and in their preparedness to act on mental health problems.

This finding allows rail companies to choose the method of delivery that suits their organisation without the risk of compromising effectiveness.

Providing the right training for line managers is vital in helping them understand, manage and promote mental health and wellbeing at work. It equips them with more confidence in managing absence from work resulting from poor mental health and in managing risks associated with stress at work.

RSSB and the Institute for Employment Studies will be undertaking further research to determine if refresher training and its delivery method can help embed the learning further. The research is due to be published in February 2020.