The current health-care system is failing many Canadians. The most vulnerable groups are children, the elderly, and the population in rural areas as well as those who suffer from mental illness. The system is challenged in delivering services to these populations – especially mental health care services.
For those hoping to see a mental health professional in a hospital, public clinic or even at school, the waiting times begin anywhere from a couple of weeks all the way up to two years if they are not considered to be in crisis. That is, of course, if they do not want to lay out a hundred dollars or more per hour to see someone in a private practice. Private insurance would cover most private practice sessions but many Canadians do not have plans that will cover sessions. Many do not have any sort of plan at all.
The wait times do not exist because of a shortage of mental health workers in Canada: the shortage only exists in the
public system. They are there because professionals are forced into the private system. The wages are very low and professionals are overworked. They can make more than five times the amount when working in the private system, work their own hours and choose their own patients.
The system is not getting any better. Wait lists are growing and there are less and less mental health professionals staying in the public system. There are risks that mental care may disappear from the public system altogether. People wait until they are in crisis to go to the emergency rooms because no one will see them in a timely manner before that. This clogs up the system further and puts people at great risk.
… read the complete story ~ http://issuu.com/onlinetherapyinstitute/docs/tiltiss7?mode=window&pageNumber=42
This article first appeared in the September 2011 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire article.
Brett Goldenberg is the co-founder of a new non-profit initiative aimed at providing free mental health consultations for those who need it most, Change Mental Health (http://changementalhealth.org). He is based in Montreal, Canada.