The provinces of Ontario (Oct 2017) and Quebec (Dec 2017) have made their opening pledges to invest in their respective province's mental health infrastructure. Ontario pledged about $73 million over 3 years and Quebec has started the ball rolling with $35 million but what does that mean for you?
At this point the short answer is: Not a whole lot - as many of my readers may suspect right off the bat. The $73 million in Ontario has already been earmarked for use in the province's 4 largest community-based mental health providers - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. CAMH will also be receiving almost $633 million as part of an expansion to their campus which is basically a nearly-self-sustaining village designed to promote mental wellness.
As for the Quebec government, they have some work to do yet. As of right now there is no governing body for psychotherapists (Ontario has the College of Registered Psychotherapists) which means practicing psychotherapy in the province is (potentially dangerously) unregulated. To that end, Quebec is planning on building a governing body and then forming policies and procedures around the prospect of government-billing for practitioners. The statement was brief so I have no intentions pf extrapolating beyond that point.
My light-hearted pessimism aside this is a great time to be in need of mental health services. The pushes being made by the government highlight a very real need across the country even if they continue to show a lack of understanding of need on their part.
While we wait for something tangible to happen on the part of the regional governments here's what I am asking you - as a current or potential consumer of mental health services - to do:
Check your insurance coverage (if you have any) and see if Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) are covered. If so, ask for a receipt from your therapist and process your reimbursement accordingly.
If you do not have coverage:
Just a way to get a few thoughts across outside of the office. In this blog you may even find entries that assist in your healing without needing a session