Evaluation of Lanark County Mental Health’s “Buried in Treasures” Hoarding Treatment Program

From left to right: Sheri Hatherly, Tamara Derkzen, Steven Ang, Adje van de Sande, Karen McIntosh

Through Winter 2018/2019, with generous support from Ontario’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund (LPRF), the Centre for Studies on Poverty and Social Citizenship (CSPSC) conducted an evaluation of Lanark County Mental Health’s hoarding intervention group.

Offered to clients on-site in Smith Falls, Lanark County Mental Health’s hoarding treatment program is closely based on the “Buried in Treasures” hoarding treatment program, initially developed by Steketee and Frost in 2007. This is the first evidence-based mental health model for hoarding treatment.

Lanark County Mental Health’s hoarding treatment group aims to provide treatment that can allow individuals with moderate to severe hoarding behaviour to maintain their successes over the long term, preventing evictions and chronic homelessness within the Lanark County community.

Comprehensive hoarding programs in Canada are rare, and this program could possibly be on one of the first rural hoarding programs in the province of Ontario. Equally, this is one of the first studies of its kind. This evaluation is unique in its focus on hoarding treatment outcomes for a rural population.

The research team included Karen McIntosh and Steven Ang, graduate students with the Carleton School of Social Work, as well as Adje van de Sande, Chair of CSPSC, acting as Principal Investigator and Zoey Feder, Administrative Assistant of CSPSC, in a supporting role.

The mixed-methods study was centred on a participatory approach, where mental health peer workers were involved in multiple phases of the research process including participating on a Research Advisory Committee and collecting participant data.

Click below for the final report:

Final Evaluation Report