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Mental Health Resources for Primary Care Practitioners

A new resource to help family physicians support individuals with mental health and substance use problems

From the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada 

MONTREAL, Oct. 23, 2018 /CNW/ – Today, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) launched the Best Advice guide: Recovery-Oriented Mental Health and Addiction Care in the Patient’s Medical Home at the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 3rd annual Mental Health for All (MH4A) Conference.

Family physicians deliver almost two-thirds of mental health services in Canada, yet some describe mental health and addiction as an area in which they would like further development. At the same time, people living with mental health or substance use problems often report that their needs are not being met. The new Best Advice guide represents a small step toward bridging that gap.

Developed in consultation with family physicians, mental health experts and people with lived experience, the guide offers a compendium of practical and easy-to-implement strategies and recommendations. It includes simple yet powerful tips for health care providers on how to open the door to important conversations on mental health and addiction issues — from using non-stigmatizing language and displaying signage in support of mental wellness to incorporating at least one question per visit that elicits a response about emotional health.

Family physicians are invited to learn more about the recovery-oriented approach — a concept in which the caregiver supports and engages the individual as an active participant in their own treatment and recovery. All primary care providers should find this guide useful in their daily practice. Similarly, people with lived experience are encouraged to share the guide with their physician to promote dialogue on how to break down barriers to receiving quality mental health care.

For more details please refer to the Best Advice guide: Quick Reference fact sheet.

Quick Facts

  • In 2012, 1.6 million people reported an unmet need for mental health care, and 7.5 million people in Canada were living with a mental health issue.
  • It is estimated that about one in five Canadian youths are affected by a mental illness at any given time and, by age 40, half of all Canadians will have experienced a mental health issue.
  • Almost 40 per cent of parents say they wouldn’t tell anyone, including their family doctor if their child was experiencing a mental health problem.
  • Patients who receive recovery-oriented, comprehensive mental health and addiction care in primary care settings experience greater satisfaction and better health outcomes.
  • The Patient’s Medical Home is the CFPC’s vision for the future of family practice in Canada. In this vision, every family practice offers care that is centred on individual patients’ needs, within their community, throughout every stage of life, and integrated with other health services.

About the College of Family Physicians of Canada 

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is the professional organization that represents more than 37,000 members across the country. The College establishes the standards for and accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools. It reviews and certifies continuing professional development programs and materials that enable family physicians to meet certification and licensing requirements. The CFPC provides high-quality services, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of family physicians and the specialty of family medicine.

About the Mental Health Commission of Canada 

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health issues. Through its unique mandate from Health Canada, the MHCC brings together leaders and organizations from across the country to accelerate these changes. Each of its initiatives and projects is led by experts who bring a variety of perspectives and experience to the table. The MHCC’s staff, Board, Advisory Council and Network of Ambassadors all share the same goal — creating a better system for all Canadians.

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www.mentalhealthcommission.ca

www.cfpc.ca

For further information: Samuel Breau, Manager, Communications & Stakeholder Relations, Public Affairs,

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