New data shows that counselling services delivered by Family Service agencies in Ontario were found to be twice as effective as the average treatment for common mental health problems cited in published studies

    TORONTO, April 30 /CNW/ -

    WHAT:     New results from the Family Service Outcome Measures Program
              showed that 62% of individuals seen by Family Service agencies
              with a moderate mental health problem show significant clinical
              improvement as a result of treatment. Sandra Savage,
              representing the lead agency reporting the results of this
              study, and Dr. Gina Browne from McMaster University's highly
              respected medical research centre, are collaborating to host a
              media conference to demonstrate the value of counselling
              offered by Family Service agencies in almost 50 communities in

    WHEN:     Wednesday, May 6, 2:00 pm

    WHERE:    Queen's Park media room, Main floor, Room 148


    Counselling offered by Family Service agencies is client-centred,
goal-oriented, and focused on specific issues.
    The Family Service Outcome Measures Program utilized a well-established,
valid and reliable clinical measurement tool, called the OQ 45, as a benchmark
to determine statistically significant changes.
    The data was gathered from 2100 clients over two years in 21 Ontario
Family Service agencies and showed that counselling helps people who are at
risk of developing significant physical and mental health problems: problems
that result in job loss, family conflict and more visits to the doctor. With
professional counselling people are able to improve their functioning so they
can find and keep a job, start job search and training programs, overcome
suicidal tendencies, reduce the risk of harming themselves or others, and
reduce the use of alcohol and drugs.


    The results show that professional counselling is a successful treatment
intervention for people at risk of serious mental and physical problems.

    -   Clients experienced 60% clinically significant improvement in
        specific problems
    -   They experienced 25% clinically significant improvement in overall
    -   When people come to counselling with a specific workplace issue,
        results show 70% to 98% improvement, depending on the factor
        measured: quality of work, concentration, attendance. In other words,
        counselling helps employees under stress improve their ability to
        participate in the work force.

    Results complement research studies conducted by Dr. Gina Browne of
McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Dr. Browne's research shows that
these counselling programs help people find and keep a job, build self-esteem
and improve family relationships. Ultimately, counselling saves money in the
health, social services and justice systems.

    Featured speakers include:

    Sandra Savage, MSW, RSW, Director of the Community Counselling Program at
Family Service Thames Valley.

    Dr. Gina Browne, Ph.D., Reg. N. is founder and director of the
System-Linked Research Unit (SLRU) on Health and Social Service Utilization
established in 1991 and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health. She is a
Professor of Nursing; Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics; and Ontario
Training Centre in Health Services and Policy Research (OTC) at McMaster
University, Faculty of Health Sciences.

    John Ellis, Executive Director of Family Service Ontario will moderate.

For further information:

For further information: John Ellis, Executive Director, Family Service
Ontario, (416) 231-6003, ext. 23, Email:

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