Mental illness accounts for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury for young people. Mental health literacy (MHL) and action refers to mental health knowledge, where to seek help, and ways to promote positive mental health. There are promising outcomes and effectiveness from youth MHL and action programs in promoting positive mental health and reducing mental illness stigma. Evaluation of such programs in Australia are scarce. This paper outlines the protocol to implement a mental health literacy and action program, called Youth Education and Support (YES) program, in Australian secondary schools using a cluster controlled trial. Students across grades seven to ten will be recruited via their school and allocated to the intervention (YES program). Individuals will be recruited via advertisements for a control group. Measures include the Youth Mental Health Literacy scale (YMHL), General Help Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ), Actual Help Seeking Questionnaire (AHSQ), and 14-Item Resilience Scale (RS-14). Qualitative questionnaires, and a fidelity instrument will also be used to assess the YES program. Measurements for the YES program will be taken for pre (before program), post (final session of program), three months, and one year follow up timepoints. The YES program has been evaluated in a pre-post study in the USA which demonstrated desirable outcomes for increasing MHL among youth. Health education within the Australian curriculum does not wholly include MHL and action, therefore programs such as YES need to be implemented and evaluated to address the mental health needs of youth. Trial number: ACTRN12621000325808 on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. Protocol amendment number: 01.
- Cluster controlled trial
- Mental health literacy