Concurrent Sessions

A2 A System Overhaul: How We Reduced Our Mental Health Wait Times from 12 Months to 2 Months

Theme 2. Optimizing access to interprofessional teams

Presentation Details

  • Date: 10/17/2016
  • Concurrent Session A
  • Time: 2:30pm – 3:15pm
  • Room: Pier 2 & 3
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Administrative staff

Learning Objectives

  1. The process of self-reflection: how to evaluate your mental health patient population and program needs and use this information to streamline your provision of care
  2. Practical techniques to address patient needs more quickly
  3. Does everyone need individual therapy? What are the other options and how can you tell who should get what
  4. How we drastically reduced our wait times and how this is helping our patients improve their mental health
  5. How to implement and evaluate an effective screening/triage process, intake calls, single session treatment, on-going individual counselling and therapy groups


Wait times reduced from 12 months to 2 months for individual therapy and from 12 months to 2 weeks for initial service provision (Single Session Tx and short-term follow-up). Urgent patients can now be contacted and often seen face-to-face within a few days.    Wait list reduced from 140 patients to 20 patients. Number of patients seen in 1 year increased from 300 to 350 and continue to grow. Pre/post outcome measures by patients showing a reduction in MH symptoms.


  • Matthew Ottaviani, MSW, RSW, LCSW, Connexion Family Health Team

Authors & Contributors

  • Carmen Sadoway, MSW, RSW, Connexion FHT
  • Dylan Myllymaki, MSW, RSW, Connexion FHT