My name is Max Buxton, and I am a family physician in the Ottawa Valley. Like many other primary care providers, I have at times felt overwhelmed by patients seeking help for depression and anxiety. The problem is not uniquely rural, but the lack of services available to rural patients provides an additional barrier to addressing the problem.
A relatively new service that I have found very helpful, and that my patients have come to appreciate is BounceBack.
BounceBack provides cognitive behaviour therapy through an online program, with the help of a coach who contacts your patient directly via phone or email, and guides them through a series of CBT exercises.
The program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and requires a referral from a registered nurse practitioner or family physician.
Feedback from my patients to date has been universally positive, and it has given me something to offer people who may have no access to a psychiatrist, no coverage for psychologic services, and limited ability to travel.
The referral process is simple. Forms can be downloaded from bouncebackontario.ca, along with a brief screening questionnaire for the patient to complete. The referral can be faxed, emailed or submitted directly through some EMR’s. BounceBack has helped my patients with anxiety and mild to moderate depression. Maybe it can help your patients too.