Preventing mental illness in emergency workers

There is increasing interest in the idea that we can prevent some individuals from developing mental illness.  Our team has previously written opinion pieces noting that the workplace should be an ideal location for mental health prevention activities.  However, to date, the evidence base for work-based prevention programs has been unclear.  We have recently completed two systematic reviews on the prevention of mental illness in the workplace, one focused on the general working population and a second focused specifically on emergency workers.  We found good quality evidence that universally delivered workplace mental health interventions can reduce the level of depression symptoms amongst workers.  In particular, we found more evidence for the effectiveness of CBT-based programs than other interventions. 

We found much less published evidence regarding the effectiveness of mental health prevention programs amongst emergency workers and are hoping that some of our ongoing studies will help to fill this gap.