NEWS RELEASE —
TORONTO, ON – In January 2021, the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) — a professional organization representing psychologists and psychological associates in Ontario — entered a partnership with Strata Health Solutions to improve patient experience and access to appropriate mental health support.
The results of this two-year evaluation reveal a sharp increase in demand for mental health services across the province, which the OPA sees as important evidence of the need for increased funding for psychological services that improve access and reduce inequity for all.
- Requests for mental health support for adults increased by 47% between 2021 and 2022
- The demand for children and youth services growing by 104%
Skyrocketing demand among younger age groups reflects a high level of unmet need within communities.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OPA has been at the forefront of the mental health response, highlighting the need for better navigation and matching support,” said Richard Morrison, CEO of the OPA. “The data shows us that Ontarians are increasingly recognizing the importance of mental health, that they’re seeking support from psychologists and psychological associates, but that they’re also looking for the most flexible means of fulfilling these needs.”
The data demonstrate that:
- Ontarians are proactively seeking services with lower wait times or ones that can accommodate evening and weekend visits
- The gender, language, and ethnicity of clinicians also increasingly matter to patients
- Virtual care (40%) is preferred over in-person visits (21%), although preference for in-person care has increased from 16% to 24% between 2021 and 2022
“We’re acquiring data that shows a one-size-fits-all approach to mental health care is ineffective,” says Dr. Sylvain Roy, past president of the OPA. “Younger age groups have different needs than older age groups, and virtual care is preferred over in-person visits. These insights will help inform the development of more tailored, accessible, and effective mental health services for Ontarians.”
In the wake of the pandemic, the OPA continues to seek meaningful collaborations that will enable greater access to mental health support for Ontarians. Their work with the Canadian Red Cross, 211, the City of Toronto, the Ontario Government, and Primary Care Associations supporting essential workers, has only reinforced the need for better navigation and matching support.
“We are tremendously proud of our partnership with both the OPA and the Ontario eService Program. By integrating our electronic referral management system to primary care and opening referrals to the general public, we have enabled a much-needed bridge between the public and private sector. The OPA can now use the information collected from these referrals to further determine patent needs and service demands.”Kevin Jones, Senior Vice President at Strata Health Canada.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Mr. Richard Morrison
CEO, Ontario Psychological Association
ABOUT THE ONTARIO PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
The Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) is a not-for-profit organization and the voluntary professional association representing psychology in Ontario. Their members include clinicians, academics, researchers, and students who are dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of Ontarians. The OPA provides leadership to promote the mental health and wellbeing of Ontarians, and to inspire excellence in the profession of psychology through research, education, clinical excellence, and advocacy. For more information about OPA, please visit www.psych.on.ca.