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 Ontario and CMHA branches participated in the 2015 Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Conference, Mobilizing Community: Promoting Resiliency, Sustaining Recovery and Resorting Justice, held in Toronto from Nov. 16 to 18. The conference was attended by more than 400 individuals from across multiple sectors including community mental health and addictions, developmental disabilities, police services, corrections, courts, legal clinics and five Ministries.
Venue: Hilton Toronto Hotel
145 Richmond St W
Organizer: Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research
Organizer: brainXchange, Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Canadian Consortium of Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA)
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) is working to change its protocols when it comes to people with mental illnesses entering the criminal justice system. That’s the message Minister Yasir Naqvi shared at the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC) conference last week.
CMHA Ontario invites you to join us in supporting mental health as we participate in GivingTuesday on Dec. 1.
Do you work with young people who are at risk of, or experiencing, mental health disabilities? Physical activity and exposure to the natural environment in parks, conservation areas and urban green spaces is good for both physical and mental wellness. Mood Walks for Youth in Transition is a capacity-building project to help mental health agencies, social service providers and other organizations reduce barriers and create new opportunities for youth (ages 13 to 24) to get outdoors and be physically active.
Venue: London ON
Organizer: Rainbow Health Ontario
The CMHA Ontario project Minding Our Bodies: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Mental Health was the focus of a study examining the instrumental use of internal evaluation findings by community mental health organizations, recently published in the journal Evaluation and Program Planning.
Join CHMA Ontario and our many partners on Dec. 3 to celebrate the launch of Enabling Minds, a free e-learning resource for physical activity organizations designed to help directors, managers and frontline staff offer more inclusive and accessible customer service for people with mental health disabilities.
Venue: North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St
North York ON
Organizer: Community Living Toronto and March of Dimes Canada