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Evaluation Report for the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health - 2010

This evaluation focused on our volunteer program which brings youth together to create resources and co-develop tools  both online and in person, and our website, which encourages help-seeking, provides reliable information and aids in early intervention through coping tools.

Our key finding included:

  • 65% of repeat users with self-reported mental health issues accessed supports as a result of using the website
  • 65% of online survey respondents reported having had or currently having a mental health or emotional health issue
  • the longer youth used the website, the more likely they were to recommend tools to friends and family
    • they are also more likely to help friends and family with mental health concerns because of what they have learned
  • feedback from youth participants showed a significantly high level of involvement that
    increased over time
    • many reported that being involved in the project gave their life meaning, and reported it would be very difficult to give up their involvement
  • youth volunteer participants reported significant improvement in knowledge of mental illness and how to help others with mental health concerns

We were also lucky enough to have Erin (current volunteer and former Youth Volunteer Assistant) create a zine to help share these learnings.

Here's what Erin had to say about the process:

"One of my first assignments here with mindyourmind was to take our Program Evaluation that was conducted between January 2008 and February 2010 and make it into a youth friendly and fun format for the website. Since I make personal zines at home I decided to use a zine format to convey our results!

The first few times I made a zine it was a lot more difficult but now I have a large collection of images and backgrounds to choose from when I start something new. Since zines traditionally have been made from black and white photocopied pages, I followed the same format for our evaluation zine, except I added highlights of red to mimic mindyourmind’s colours. I printed out a bunch of images and brought in my favourite zine making supplies: my paper cutter, scissors, glue stick, and pens.

One trick I learned when making my own zines was to use black paper to be a backdrop against for text against a busy background. I always go through so much paper when making zines but I always recycle the scraps! Some of the backgrounds I used for the mindyourmind zine were made from logos and posters on the website. I love taking something seen every day and turning it into something new.

It has been so much fun to do something I love and be able to share it with everyone who visits"