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Primary Health Care

Access to primary health care is often an issue for people with mental illness. Many people seek primary care from a family doctor in private practice. Other forms of primary care are also available. Due to a shortage of family physicians and a desire to expand alternatives to private family practices, in 2005 the provincial government announced the creation of 150 family health teams (FHTs) and 39 new community health centre (CHC) sites to address the need for primary health care across the province.

There is a growing trend for community mental health agencies and other agencies to work in partnership with family health teams and community health centres. FHTs and CHCs provide primary care using a model of multidisciplinary care that includes physicians and other providers such as nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and dietitians. In addition, CHCs provide a variety of health promotion and illness prevention services that focus on addressing and raising awareness of the broader social determinants of health, such as employment, education, environment, isolation, social exclusion and poverty.

CHCs are designed to meet the specific needs of a defined community, often with a focus on groups of people who face particular barriers to health. FHTs are designed to give doctors support from other professionals in providing primary care to the general population.

CHCs are non-profit, community-governed organizations. Most FHTs are physician-led, although some are community-led.

Learn more from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:

Related Documents

Team WorkNetwork (Fall 2005)

CMHA, Windsor-Essex County Branch has partnered with other health care providers to create a family health team that includes a focus on mental health.

Related Resources

Association of Ontario Health Centres
The association advocates for CHCs, Aboriginal Health Access Centres and other non-profit, community-governed primary care organizations.
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Venue: World Wide Web
Organizer: Mental Health Commission of Canada
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca

October 16, 2014 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. June 22-26, 2015

Venue: The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
Kelowna, BC
Organizer: Interprofessional Continuing Education
www.interprofessional.ubc.ca

October 16, 2014 Pathways to Resilience III. Beyond Nature vs. Nurture. June 16-19, 2015

Venue: Dalhousie University
Halifax NS, Canada
Organizer: Resilience Research Centre
www.resilienceresearch.org

October 16, 2014 Grounding Trauma 2015. Trauma, Youth and Young Families, Research, Prevention and Intervention. May 6-7, 2015

Venue: Alliston ON
Organizer: CAST Canada
www.cast-canada.ca

October 16, 2014 22nd Annual Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival. November 10-15, 2014

Venue: TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St W, Toronto, ON
Organizer: Workman Arts
www.rendezvouswithmadness.com

October 16, 2014 Hackathought: A Hack for Mental Health. November 7-9, 2014

Venue: Ontario

October 16, 2014 WRAP Facilitator Training at MDAO. Five days from November 10-14, 2014

Venue: Mood Disorders Association of Ontario
36 Eglinton Ave W
Suite 602
Toronto, ON
www.mooddisorders.ca

October 16, 2014 WRAP for Families. An 8 session, weekly group program beginning Monday October 20, 2014

Venue: Mood Disorders Association of Ontario
36 Eglinton Ave W, Suite 602
Toronto, ON
www.mooddisorders.ca

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Occupational therapy (OT) is the art and science of enabling people to perform the occupations that foster health and well-being. Accordingly, OT practice is a core component of an integrated mental health system. This month, the contributions of Occupational Therapists (OTs) across the country are being celebrated.

October 16, 2014 CMHO Annual Conference: Getting it Right for Kids and Families. November 23-25, 2014

November 24th and 25th, 2014 (pre-conference November 23rd)
Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel, Toronto, Ontario

Conference - register - squareGetting it Right for Kids and Families is Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s 42nd annual child & youth mental health conference. The conference is being held at the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel in Toronto.