Assessing the Feasibility of a Peer Education Project to Improve Mental Health Literacy in Adolescents in the UK

Abigail Russell*, Esther Curtin, Emily Widnall, Steven Dodd, Mark Limmer, Ruth Simmonds, Judi Kidger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Many mental health problems begin in adolescence and occur on a spectrum of severity: early recognition and intervention is important. This study is a quantitative feasibility study of the Mental Health Foundation’s Peer Education Project (PEP). Attrition, psychometric properties of questionnaires, indications of improvement on a range of outcomes, and sample size required for a powered trial of effectiveness were assessed. 203 students completed the survey both pre and post-intervention. It was found that existing previously-validated measures had good psychometric properties, with two new questionnaires demonstrating reasonable reliability (self-help confidence alpha = 0.78, mental health knowledge alpha = 0.59). There were indications of improvement in help-seeking intentions, the number of sources likely to seek help from, and mental health knowledge from pre- to post-intervention. A future trial of PEP with a sample of approximately 36 schools, researcher-led data collections, and help-seeking intentions or sources as a primary outcome appears to be feasible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784–796
Number of pages13
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (project number SPHR PHPES025). The views and opinions expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR. The funding body played no role in the design, collection, analysis, interpretation or writing of the manuscript. This report is independent research supported by the National Institute for Health Research NIHR Advanced Fellowship—Stage 2, Dr Abigail Russell, NIHR300591. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


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