Mental illness is
experienced by 1 in 3 Canadians during their lifetime.
In northern regions
there are unique challenges which serve as barriers to treating patients with
mental health disorders. These include: low health care provider-to-population
ratios, travel time to reach service providers, and local demand for services.
Strengthening the integration of primary care and community pharmacy will help
to provide care across the continuum and better support patients with
A demonstration project was designed to establish
partnerships in the community to better support improved health and wellbeing
for patients with depression. This effort to
integrate care aligns with the government’s priority around team based models
of care which is supported through Bill 74,
The People’s Health Care Act,
The project aimed to develop and
test a model demonstrating the benefits of provider collaboration in delivering
care for patients in two northern communities (Sudbury and Espanola).
This model, aligned to the Ontario Health (OH) Quality Standard for Major Depression, involves primary care practitioners asking
patients to connect with their community pharmacist who provided regular
follow-up and monitoring as well as additional supports regarding adjunct
therapies for self-management. A shared model ensures professionals can
contribute in a meaningful way to patients and the system by providing the
right level of support in an accessible location to achieve health care goals
and in some cases, help to relieve capacity issues in areas with limited access
to primary care.