Theme 3. Expanding your reach
1) Participants will understand the origin of the program
2) Participants will understand the successes and challenges of the initiative to date
3) Participants will understand essential elements in overcoming the challenges of implementation
As part of a province-wide trend to increase patient access to inter-professional teams in primary care, the Centre for Family Medicine FHT has launched an initiative to provide mental health services to patients of three FHOs in Kitchener-Waterloo. This program makes counselling services available to 52 additional family-physicians, serving approximately 65,000 patients. This presentation will briefly describe the origin and formation of the Partnership for Mental Health Services, and the progress on the implementation of this pilot to date, with a focus on the perspectives of the three clinical therapists supporting the FHOs.
Since its inception there have been a variety of hurdles overcome, processes developed, and adaptations made. Various successes and challenges will be discussed and learnings shared that may assist others in avoiding the pitfalls of implementing a similar program. Key elements of team function will be highlighted including: formation, ingenuity, flexibility, and collaboration. Clear and direct communication, internally and externally, have been essential in building the relationships needed for success. Preliminary outcome data will be shared and discussed and recommendations will be reviewed for implementation of similar initiatives.