Strengthening mental healthcare delivery in primary care

The OMA and the Primary Care Collaborative have released a joint policy paper with recommendations to strengthen mental healthcare delivery in primary care.

The rate of new mental health and addiction diagnoses is increasing, exacerbated by the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. Approximately three-quarters of Canadians rely on their primary care provider to address their mental health needs, but there are longstanding system gaps that must be addressed to enhance the ability of primary care doctors to deliver mental health care.

In a paper, titled Strengthening the delivery of Mental Health and Addiction Services in Primary Care, the Ontario Medical Association and the Primary Care Collaborative have identified the following policy actions that are necessary to ensure greater support for primary care providers and improve care in this crucial area:

  • Enhance primary care’s capacity to offer treatment locally by funding and establishing interprofessional care teams with expertise in treating moderate to severe depression and anxiety
  • Improve the ability of primary care providers to connect their patients who have moderate to severe depression and anxiety to local services by leveraging and expanding the navigation service, Health Connect Ontario
  • Expand access to harm reduction services, such as supervised consumption and treatment sites
  • Implement an Indigenous-led mental health and wellness strategy

The paper was released on October 3, 2022.

The full news release can be read here.


About The Primary Care Collaborative
The Primary Care Collaborative is an alliance of primary care organizations that joined together to collaborate on strengthening primary care as we move toward recovering from the pandemic. It is made up of the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario, the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council, the Alliance for Healthier Communities, the Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic Association, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, and the OMA’s Section on General and Family Practice.