Evaluations of Community Mental Health Services

In order to promote the continuous quality improvement of community mental health services, CMHA undertakes research and evaluations to assess the accessibility, effectiveness and efficiency of community mental health programs.

Toronto Mental Health and Justice Safebed Program Outcome Evaluation -- In Progress

Undertaken in collaboration with the Mental Health and Justice Safebed Network, CMHA Toronto is leading this evaluation study of short-term residential crisis facilities in Toronto serving individuals living with mental illness who have current involvement in the criminal justice system. Safebeds offer short-term housing, crisis support and counselling, support with daily living skills to individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

For more information about this study, contact Frank Sirotich at fsirotich@cmhato.org.

An Outcome Evaluation of the Family Recovery Group – In Progress

This study will evaluate the outcomes of the Family Recovery Group (FRG) within the Family Outreach and Response Program at the CMHA Toronto. The FRG is an 8 week group psychoeducational intervention for family members of individuals with a mental health challenge in the Toronto area. Originally developed in 2001, the FRG has incorporated a recovery-focused approach to supporting families. A recovery orientation in mental health services focuses on promoting personal growth, hope and autonomy among individuals with experience of a mental health challenge.

There is no available research on the impact of recovery oriented interventions on family members and family relationships. This evaluation study will begin to address this knowledge gap.

For more information about this study, contact Frank Sirotich at fsirotich@cmhato.org.

Culturally Congruent Intensive Case Management Services for Three Refugee Communities

Lin Fang, Frank Sirotich, Kristina Nikolova Psychiatric Services, 2018; 69:1116.

In 1999, after consultation with community groups and stakeholders, CMHA developed the Rehabilitation Action Program, an intensive case management service targeting Afghan, Sri Lankan and Somali communities in Toronto. The program provides culturally and linguistically appropriate services to these three communities. Using administrative data of clients enrolled in the program, this study examined the effectiveness of the program by assessing the reenrollment status two years after program admission, the estimated length of stay, as well as changes in length of hospitalization, medication adherence and employment status from baseline to two-year follow-up. Compared to baseline, clients in the program had fewer hospitalizations, improved treatment adherence and better employment outcomes by two years post-admission.
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Lessons from a Canadian province: examining collaborations between the mental health and justice sectors.

Carolyn S Dewa, Lucy Trojanowski, Chiachen Cheng, Frank Sirotich
International Journal of Public Health, 2011; 57:7-14.

This study examined the factors that program developers perceived as important to the successful collaboration between the mental health and justice sectors in seven Ontario court diversion programs. The primary factors identified involved partnership development, adjustment to broader mandates and addressing ongoing challenges.

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The criminal justice outcomes of jail diversion programs for persons with mental illness: A review of the evidence.

Frank Sirotich
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 2009: 37:461-472.

Diversion programs are initiatives in which persons with serious mental illness who are involved with the criminal justice system are redirected from traditional criminal justice pathways to the mental health and substance abuse treatment systems. This article is a review of the research literature conducted to determine whether the current evidence supports the use of diversion initiatives to reduce recidivism and to reduce incarceration among adults with serious mental illness with justice involvement.

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