I've been asked to proof-read some wording for a website and public documents and something about the wording isn't sitting right with me. I could be wrong, but it reads funny starting with "an evidence-based..." I'd like to be able to support my commentary, but I don't know for sure what, if anything, is wrong grammatically. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Variation 1:

An evidence-based program that has been adopted by over 20 countries, Mental Health First Aid teaches adults how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Variation 2:

An evidence-based program, adopted in over 20 countries, Mental Health First Aid teaches the five-step ALGEE action plan: <it then lists the plan>

Original Post

Hello, Mark Simon, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

@Mark Simon posted:

Variation 1:

An evidence-based program that has been adopted by over 20 countries, Mental Health First Aid teaches adults how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Personally, I find nothing wrong with the text above: "An evidence-based program ..." is short for and certainly more elegant -- in my opinion -- than "Being an evidence-based program ..."

@Mark Simon posted:

Variation 2:

An evidence-based program, adopted in over 20 countries, Mental Health First Aid teaches the five-step ALGEE action plan: <it then lists the plan>

In this case, only the comma after "program" is wrong and should be eliminated.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

Thanks, Gustavo! I'm new to this so I figured I'd solicit the opinions of those with more experience.

I was thinking it sounded better as
Mental Health First Aid, an evidence-based program that has been adopted by over 20 countries, teaches adults how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

If there if there isn't anything wrong with the original wording (other than personal preference), I'm thinking I won't bring it up.

@Mark Simon posted:

I was thinking it sounded better as
Mental Health First Aid, an evidence-based program that has been adopted by over 20 countries, teaches adults how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

The sentence above, where the phrase in question is in apposition to the head of the subject, also sounds fine. Some might argue that, being somewhat long, it separates "Mental Health First Aid" from the verb a bit too much, but I find it nice too. It is, as you said, a matter of preference.

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