Mood Disorders Association of Ontario: Mood, Food and Movement Program 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

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Introduction

This case study report overviews and evaluates the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO) Mood, Food and Movement program. The Food is Mood program 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 MDAO staff regarding the Mood, Food and Movement program.  The evaluative analysis focuses on formative 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 answer evaluation questions.

Summary

The Mood, Food and Movement program did a good job of meeting the aims of the MOB program overall. Client outcomes demonstrate good improvements in physical and mental health, and there was improved social inclusion among the clients who participated in the program. The program made a few connections with new partners, but could benefit from making more connections and building MDAO’s community of practice. That being said, MDAO engaged very well with the MOB project team and shared experiences with other pilots through teleconferencing.

The Mood, Food and Movement program was also able to meet some of the broader MDAO goals, in particular helping it to become a leader in the area of healthy eating and physical activity as it relates to mental health. However, MDAO will have to continue to work on this goal by building up a curriculum from this program, and creating new partners with whom they can build on the curriculum and share their experiences. Positive client outcomes go a long way towards helping MDAO become a pillar in this area but they will need to become noticed in the community of practice. Building partnerships, another goal of MDAO, will also help them to become noticed in the community of practice and help them to learn from others and share their experiences as well.

The positive impact the program had on clients in the short term, with tools to help them recover and heal, is another central goal of MDAO. The program also provided clients with tools to help them sustain these positive changes, which will continue to support their recovery.
 

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