SIIReN - System Integration & Innovation Research Network

Primary Health Care System

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“Best Practices in Primary Care for Mental Health and Addictions Problems”
Presenters: Moira Stewart, Graham Reid, Cathy Thorpe, The University of Western Ontario
March 29, 2010


One in five individuals has a mental health problem. A minority of individuals with mental health and addictions problems receive treatment. Of those that do, most are being cared for only in the primary care system. Of those who receive secondary care services, virtually all will continue to receive care from the primary care team. Given the regular delivery of mental health services in the primary care system, the Thames Valley Family Practice Research Unit in collaboration with the Mental Health and Addictions Unit of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) conducted a focused literature review to identify best practices in primary care for mild to moderate mental health and addictions problems. In addition, an examination of the Ontario context was completed, through analysis of prevalence data and an environmental scan of what is currently occurring in Ontario family practice / primary care, particularly in Family Health Teams for children, youth and adults with mental health and addictions problems. Potential directions and ideas for policy for MOHLTC to consider for the future for children, youth and adults with mental health and addictions problems are described.

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