Assessing the Social Impact of Mental Health Service Accessibility by a Nonprofit Social Enterprise: A Mixed--methods Case Study


  • Aaron Turpin University of Toronto
  • Micheal Shier
  • Kate Scowen



Social entrepreneurship; Social enterprise; Nonprofit; Mental health; Community-based / L’entrepreneuriat social; Entreprise sociale; Non lucratif; Santé mentale; À base communautaire


The following study sought to examine the social impact of a social enterprise mental health services model by assessing its impact on service accessibility and mental health stigma.  A novel approach to case study – a mixed methods design was developed by collecting data from service users, counsellors, and community members of a social enterprise in Toronto, Ontario, using qualitative interviews and the Mental Health Knowledge Schedule (MAKS) survey.  Findings show how the social enterprise increases service access and challenges mental health stigma by engaging in a variety of activities, including providing low--cost counselling, diversifying services, offering a positive and safe non--clinical environment, and engaging with the public directly by utilizing a storefront model. As a result of data triangulation analysis, common themes and discrepancies between respondent groups are identified and discussed. No significant relationships were found between mental health stigma and community member demographic characteristics. Insights on replication of this social impact assessment model are discussed.


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