In June 2015, the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies (CCDS) undertook project activities for the PeerZone Evaluation Project which was funded by CMHA Toronto and guided by the direction of the PeerZone Ontario Steering Committee, PeerZone Central and various stakeholders.
PeerZone is a peer support initiative that provides a series of three-hour peer led work-shops in mental health and addiction where people explore recovery and whole of life wellbeing. Workshops cover a broad range of topics and are aimed to improve empow-erment, self-awareness, well-being and social connection. PeerZone is driven by five values, which include self-determination, participation, mutuality, hope, and lived expe-rience knowledge base. PeerZone provides professional development and support for the peer workforce and it provides individuals peer support and peer led recovery education.
Project objectives aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the PeerZone program to external parties. The primary project outcome was to develop a set of formative data collection tools. These tools revised the existing Peer Zone evaluation tool to enhance program feedback, while also contributing to the emerging base of knowledge of an evi-dence-based practice.
The PeerZone evaluation project focused on the design and validation of an assessment tool, and incorporated aspects of two additional goals: design an evaluation system and establish the sustainability of evaluation activities within PeerZone.
The core components of the project included:
Key outputs of the project included: