CMHA Huron Perth: FRESH Project Case Study Report

Submitted by
 
Michaela Hynie
York Institute for Health Research, Program Evaluation Unit
York University

Carolyn Steele Gray
University of Toronto

January 2011

Download complete report (PDF)


Introduction

This case study report overviews and evaluates the Canadian Mental Health Association Huron Perth (CMHA HP) Branch’s FRESH project. The FRESH project is one of six pilot programs funded by CMHA Ontario’s Minding Our Bodies (MOB) Eating Well for Mental Health program. This report is intended to provide evaluative feedback to the MOB Program Leaders, Advisory Committee, and CMHA HP staff regarding the FRESH project.  The evaluative analysis includes context, input, process and product evaluation questions (specifically, short-term outcomes) set out in the original Minding Our Bodies evaluation proposal that can be answered by examining the individual pilot programs. The main aim of this case study report is to provide feedback on the goals, development, implementation, and outputs of the pilot program in relation to the MOB program and its goals and objectives. The final MOB Eating Well for Mental Health program evaluation report draws on this and other case study reports in order to determine whether the MOB program met its short-term goals, unfolded as planned, and how it could be improved.

Summary

The FRESH project did a good job of meeting the aims of the MOB program overall. Client outcomes demonstrate some improvements in physical and mental health and improved social inclusion. There was also a building of the community of practice through the new partnerships created by the FRESH project, many of which will be continued in the future. There could have been more exchange of information to build on the community of practice had FRESH program leaders and/or staff been able to participate in teleconferences as a means to share their experiences with the other groups. This would have been particularly useful if the CMHA HP internal evaluator could have been part of the teleconferences to share their experience with developing and implementing the evaluations. There could have also been the potential for partnering with other pilots to share internal evaluation tools.

FRESH project was also able to meet the overarching goals of CMHA HP, in particular, supporting community integration and improving client awareness of local resources. The positive outcomes around clients’ physical and mental health support the CMHA HP goals of maintaining and supporting mental health for individuals in their area. While advocacy was not an explicit goal of the FRESH project, the unexpected outcome regarding improved community awareness about CMHA HP might help to work towards this goal of advocating for those with mental health concerns.
 

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