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.
Former Chief Justice Frank Iacobucci has released a review of documents, policies and procedures of the Toronto Police Service and its interactions with people in crisis, offering up 84 recommendations.
Heather Rivers, reporter with the Woodstock Sentinel Review has been named the recipient of the 2014 CMHA Ontario Media Award for excellence reporting on mental health and addictions issues at the local level.
CMHA Ontario has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), Health Nexus and CMHA Toronto to offer a training webinar about Using the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Tool in Community Mental Health. The webinar, originally conducted on July 17, 2014, was recorded and can be viewed for free at any time by using the links below.
In her latest blog for Qualaxia, a national online network for mental health system stakeholders, CMHA Ontario policy analyst Sheela Subramanian explains how tackling a complex policy issue can be like building a puzzle – one where the first step is to actually find the pieces.
CMHA Ontario’s Mood Walks program was featured on CBC radio this week as CMHA Elgin staff and program participants spoke to CBC Ontario Morning on the effectiveness of the program in their community. Participants in the program told CBC correspondent Kerry McKee that the nature walks coordinated by the program bring a sense of calm and focus to their day.
Gail Czukar has accepted the position of CEO for Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, an organization of community-governed, not-for-profit agencies that provide a full continuum of services and supports to help individuals in Ontario facing mental health and addiction issues.
The Ontario government has announced that it will undertake a collaborative approach to ensure that provincial hospitals have the capacity to support injured children, whether Palestinian or Israeli, who are victims of the current crisis in the Middle East.
A new initiative to increase access to mental health and addiction services for First Nations communities has resulted in increased dialogue between partners and the Minweyaanigoziwin Mapping Project, a new website that links Kenora-area First Nations residents with service providers.
Law enforcement agencies frequently receive and respond to calls about crises of emotionally disturbed persons in the community. However, police face an increasing number of difficulties in responding to crisis calls due to challenges such as a perceived lack of training and referral expertise. Toronto’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Team Program was put in place to address some of these challenges.