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.
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Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Thunder Bay Branch is celebrating 40 years of serving its community. Officially chartered as a branch of CMHA National in 1975, the Thunder Bay Branch has been through many changes including expansion to the number of programs offered, increases in staffing levels and renewed approaches to services.
Service providers and managers of organizations that use the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) as well as policy makers, administrators, planners and individuals from racialized communities are invited to attend an upcoming think tank about the potential of the OCAN to advance health equity.
Clark MacFarlane has over 20 years of experience in the health care sector, and is currently the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Cochrane-Timiskaming Branch, in northern Ontario.
The provincial government announced this week that it is creating a province-wide registry of mental health beds as part of a $28 million investment in mental health and addictions services.
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A ‘social enterprise’ is a business involved in the production and or selling of goods and services for the blended purpose of generating income and achieving social, cultural, or environmental aims.
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