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Description: The Globe and Mail has produced a series of articles on the current state of mental health treatment in Canada. It does not so much focus on the quality of the treatment options available (they are pretty good) but rather on the general availability (or lack thereof) of such services. You can think of the central issue this way. Let’s say you (are given a diagnosis for a disease that is progressive but potentially treatable (cancer, pneumonia, a broken leg) and you are told that you might be able to start receiving treatment for it quickly but you might have to wait 6 months to a year for treatment or you could pay up front for your treatment and maybe get some or all of your costs back or maybe not. How would that feel given what we hope to be able to expect from the Canadian health care system? Well effective treatments exist for many mental health issues and disorders and the treatment work better if they are applied earlier and in a level or dosage that is appropriate for the issue or disorder. However, psychological or psychiatric treatment services are not routinely considered to be the same as “medical” services and so either there are VERY long wait-lists or they are only covered, or only partly covered, by third party health insurance plans (like Blue Cross) and that coverage varies from comprehensive to limited to non-existent and is usually only held by people as part of their work benefits plans.

Pick and article or two and get a feel for the short and long term implications of re-thinking how we think (and how we fund) psychological therapies, or read them all and get a larger scale view of this issue.

Source: Globe and Mail: Open Minds Series

Date: May 22 to June 1, 2015

Canadian mental Health

Photo Credit: Globe and Mail;

Links: See each with article list below:

OPEN MINDS: Better Mental Health Care

A Globe and Mail Series (May and June 2015)

May 22, 2015 The Case for Publicly Funded Therapy

May 24, 2015 The Difficulty of Getting a Definitive Mental Health Diagnosis

May 24 For Kids In Need Of Mental-Health Care, Too Often We Offer Drugs, Not Help

This is part of a series about improving research, diagnosis and treatment. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #OpenMinds

May 24, 2015 To Improve Mental Health, Tackle Problems Early

May 24, 2015 The Cluster Effect: Is Self-Harming Contagious

May 24, 2015 The Tricky Issue of Consent in Adolescent Mental Health Care

May 25, 2015 Look Long-Term When Assessing The Costs Of Psychotherapy

May 25, 2015 Unleashing the Power of Technology to Deliver Psychotherapy

May 26, 2015 Andre Picard Psychotherapy: A Better Funding Model Must be Found

May 26, 2015 How Bias in Mental health Care Hurts Women, from the Lab to the Medicine Cabinet

May 27, 2015 Can your Diet Shape your Mental Health?

May 27, 2015 Inside the world’s best mental-health program to keep homeless people off the street

May 27, 2015 Workplaces have Responsibility to Promote Mental Well-Being of Employees

May 28, 2015 Niall McGee didn’t believe in depression – until cancer medication put him in a suicidal spiral

May 29, 2015 Mental Illness Meets Big Data: A Predictions Opportunity

May 29, 2015 Why Business Leaders Profit from Mental Health Literacy

May 29, 2015 In Pursuit of Mental Health’s Holy Grail

May 30, 2015 This week’s Talking Point – building a better mental health care system. Plus letters to the editor

June 1, 2015 How to Fix Canada’s Mental Health System

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Is there anything wrong with Canada’s Mental Health Treatment system?
  2. What might we do differently?
  3. What are the short and long term considerations of changing and not changing the Canadian Mental Health Treatment system?

References (Read Further):

Hodges, C. A., O’Brien, M. S., & McGorry, P. D. (2007). Headspace: National Youth Mental Health Foundation: Making headway with rural young people and their mental health. Australian journal of rural health, 15(2), 77-80

Access Canada: The Douglas Institute at the heart of the future in youth care

Headspace: Natioanl Youth Mental Health Foundation: Australia