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:
- Family health teams
- Community health centres
Team Work, Network (Fall 2005)
- Association of Ontario Health Centres
- The association advocates for CHCs, Aboriginal Health Access Centres and other non-profit, community-governed primary care organizations.
CMHA branches are participating in a survey that will allow them to better understand the current landscape of care coordination and integration between primary health care and the community mental health and addictions sectors throughout the province. The survey is led by the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council.
The Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee is surveying the mental health courts in Ontario to examine their distinctive operation as separate mechanisms and their role in the greater criminal justice system.
As part of Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan, the Government of Ontario has committed to identifying and addressing accessibility barriers in the health care sector through the creation of a potential new accessibility standard for health care under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).
Via Rail has a new accessibility policy that responds to the needs of people with mental health disabilities who require a support person for travel.
The Canadian Transportation Agency is looking for ways to improve the accessibility of people with disabilities in regulatory measures.
The Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addictions Community of Interest’s July 26 webinar, Exploring OCAN’s Potential for Health Equity, is now available for viewing or reviewing the presentation slides.
CMHA Ontario is proud to announce many important updates to the Living Life to the Full program, including a rollout with the Francophone community and a new initiative that is bringing the program to caregivers 55-and-older in Toronto.
The second Excellence Through Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP) webinar provided information on the outcomes of the seven Regional Consultations, which have been a key component since the program’s launch in March.
The Housing, Health and Justice Community of Interest (COI) is conducting a scan of housing programs across Ontario and is asking for feedback.