Mental health care should be available to everyone who needs it. But long wait times and high costs are barriers stopping many people from accessing care. It’s time to recognize that the brain is a part of the body and make mental health care free and accessible in BC.
The path to no-cost mental health care
The BC Greens are proposing a 12-month pilot project authorizing psychologists to become eligible health care providers through a government-funded billing system (such as MSP or a comparable Psychological Services Plan) for consultation and psychotherapy. This program would allow them to work alongside primary care physicians and other medical specialists.
Mental health is health. It should be prioritized, just like physical health, in our public healthcare system.
The cost of the pandemic
The pandemic has exacerbated an already dire mental health emergency in BC. Depression, anxiety, and people contemplating suicide are at an all-time high in Canada.
We can’t dismiss the shortcomings that have been illuminated by this pandemic. If we invest in mental health care now, we’ll have a stronger foundation for building a healthier, more vibrant province moving out of the pandemic.
Mental health care saves everyone money
Integrating mental health care into the healthcare system will prevent suffering, loss of life, and significantly reduce overall healthcare spending by decreasing unnecessary ER visits and costly hospitalizations. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, every dollar invested into mental healthcare saves two dollars elsewhere in the medical system.
- Sonia Furstenau's private member's bill: B.C. Greens table legislation to enable the regulation of counsellors and social workers
- B.C. Green Party leader pushes for regulation of counsellors and social workers with private member's bill
- B.C. Greens propose changes to regulate counselling therapists
- B.C. Greens call for psychologists to have access to MSP billing; Expansion of affordable mental health care
- Greens Push Pilot Project to Offer Mental Health Support under MSP
- Mental Health Monday: Integrating mental health into B.C.’s public healthcare system
- BC Psychological Association: Letter to the Premier