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Perspectives and Outcomes of a Long and Shorter Community Mental Health Program

Authors: Danielle Klassen, Reiko Yeap, Margo Schmitt-Boshnick, Scott Oddie


The development of the 7-week Alberta Happiness Basics program was initiated in 2010 in response to the need for community mental health programming. This provincial wide program aims to increase overall happiness and reduce negative thoughts and feelings through a positive psychology intervention. While the 7-week program has proven effective, a shortened 4-week program has additionally been developed to address client needs. In this study, participants were interviewed to determine if the 4- and 7-week programs had similar success of producing lasting behavior change at 3, 6, and 9 months post-program. A health quality of life (HQOL) measure was also used to compare the two programs and examine patient outcomes. Quantitative and qualitative analysis showed significant improvements in HQOL and sustainable behavior change for both programs. Findings indicate that the shorter, patient-centered program was effective in increasing happiness and reducing negative thoughts and feelings.

Keywords: Primary care, mental health, depression, short duration.

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