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This evaluation covers five key evaluation questions (KEQs) on a year-long implementation of a telehealth peer support model to coach people through the National Depression Initiative’s cognitive-behavioural tool The Journal. Between May 2019 and May 2020, 249 people were supported with phone and text support which resulted in a reduction in depression symptoms. The evaluation reports on service fidelity and the benefits and issues of mixing medical and lived experience models.

Key findings:

  • eCoaching for The Journal was seen as valuable and useful within the current mental health system to support people with mental distress.
  • Referrers saw the pilot as flexible and accessible as well as cost-effective; another referral choice within the mental health landscape and something that might be different enough to help people who have not done well with existing support mechanisms.
  • Client interviewees also valued eCoaching for its flexibility and accessibility and the value brought by connecting with someone else who has lived experience.
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