Healthcare Policy

Healthcare Policy 16(3) February 2021 : 16-25.doi:10.12927/hcpol.2021.26437
Discussion and Debate

Public Funding of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy for Common Mental Disorders: Increasing Calls for Action in Canadian Provinces

Helen-Maria Vasiliadis, Jessica Spagnolo and Alain Lesage


Canada's provinces are without a publicly funded psychotherapy program for common mental disorders despite evidence that psychological services help reduce the length and number of depressive episodes, symptoms of post-traumatic stress and associated negative outcomes (hospitalizations and suicide attempts). Studies also show that including psychological services as part of the service package offered under the public health plan for those without access pays for itself. We posit that a publicly funded psychotherapy program in Canada, including digitized self-guided psychotherapy platforms for common mental disorders, will lead to improved population health useful in the COVID-19 context and beyond.



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