Mental health has declined among Canadians for years due to increasing socioeconomic stresses, and the psychosocial stress associated with each wave of the pandemic has worsened mental health. Despite this growing public health concern and the proven efficacy of a range of psychotherapies to treat common mental health conditions, there exists only a patchwork of public psychotherapy programs for common mental disorders between provincial health systems.
Expanding the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) to include universal basic mental healthcare would relieve the economic costs of mental illness, improve well-being, and save the province millions of dollars.
The paper argues that Ontario should consider expanding its OHIP coverage to include universal basic mental healthcare in the form of a basic program assuring access of up to 12 psychotherapy sessions annually, which would remove barriers to access, among other benefits. Of the nearly 2 million Ontarians that stated a need for mental healthcare in 2018, 78.2% cited not knowing where to get help or not being able to afford to pay as a reason.
Download the Making it Right – Universal Basic Mental Healthcare for Ontario policy backgrounder.
Header image by Alex Green.Download 2022.04 - Broadbent Institute - Making it Right - Universal Basic Mental Healthcare in Ontario