NEW PRESS RELEASE - Mar 23, 2022

BC Psychologists submit proposal to government for primary care program that could improve care for thousands.

  • Read the press release here.
  • Write your MLA here.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Recently, the British Columbia Psychological Association (BCPA) submitted a proposal to the government for the Primary Care Psychologist (PCPsych) Program. This program would place psychologists in family doctors’ offices in British Columbia, giving British Columbians access to high quality mental and behavioural healthcare.

This exciting program is based on over two decades of research demonstrating the effectiveness and cost-savings of having Psychologists working side-by-side with family doctors. Psychologists provide brief assessments and treatments for mental health concerns like depression and anxiety, and behavioural health concerns, like having trouble with weight, diet, or smoking.

Imagine being able to go to your family doctor and also being able to see a trained psychologist who will help you with your concerns right there and then. Whether you are struggling with a chronic illness like diabetes or hypertension, experiencing pain or problems with sleep, or whether you have concerns about your child’s development–a psychologist can help.

This model of care has been implemented around the world with improved patient outcomes, lower physician burnout, more physician efficiency (meaning more people would have access to family physician services), and an overall cost saving to the economy and healthcare system.

Our proposal would capitalize on the knowledge, infrastructure, and training abilities of UBCOs Clinical Psychology program. Health authorities would work in partnership with UBCO to hire, train, and embed 20 full time equivalent (FTE) Psychologists within doctors offices in the Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in our province. The cost of this would be $27M over 3 years.

Right now, we are in a pandemic, an opioid crisis, and a climate crisis; all of which change the way we think, act, and feel. We also live in a province that does not provide free mental or behavioural health services to the vast majority of its population, leaving people to either pay out of pocket or not receive services at all. It’s time for things to change. If you believe that this proposal is important, please join us in our letter campaign, by following this link.

Media requests:
communications@psychologists.bc.ca

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