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Mental Health and Primary Care: Contributing to Mental Health System Transformation in Canada

Publication: Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
19 October 2018


For 20 years mental health and primary care providers across Canada have been working collaboratively together to improve access to care, provider skills, and patient experience. The new strategic plan of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) offers many opportunities for collaborative care to play a role in the transformation of Canada’s mental health systems. To assist the plan, this paper presents principles underlying successful projects and ways that mental health and primary care services can work together more collaboratively, including integrating mental health providers in primary care. It integrates these concepts into a Canadian Model for Collaborative Mental Health Care that can guide future expansion of these approaches, and suggests ways in which better collaboration can address wider issues facing all of Canada’s health care systems.


Depuis 20 ans, les prestataires de soins en santé mentale et de soins de santé de première ligne de partout au Canada travaillent en étroite collaboration pour améliorer l’accès aux soins, les compétences des prestataires et l’expérience des patients et patientes. Le nouveau plan stratégique de la Commission de la santé mentale du Canada (CSMC) ouvre la voie à un éventail de possibilités pour que les soins de santé collaboratifs puissent jouer un rôle dans la transformation des systèmes de santé mentale au Canada. Pour aider à formuler le plan, le présent document présente les principes qui sous-tendent les projets fructueux et explique comment il est possible pour les services de soins en santé mentale et les services de première ligne de collaborer davantage ensemble, par la voie, entre autres, de l’intégration des prestataires de soins en santé mentale au sein même des services de première ligne. Il intègre ces concepts dans un Modèle canadien de soins collaboratifs en santé mentale susceptible d’orienter le développement futur de ces approches, et propose des moyens pour qu’une collaboration plus soutenue puisse permettre de régler les problèmes plus vastes auxquels sont aujourd’hui confrontés tous les systèmes de santé du Canada.

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Published In

cover image Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Volume 36Number 4December 2017
Pages: 33 - 67


Version of record online: 19 October 2018

Key Words

  1. collaborative care
  2. primary care
  3. integrated care


  1. soins de santé collaboratifs
  2. soins de santé de première ligne
  3. soins de santé intégrés



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1. Patient and Family Caregiver Experience with a Collaborative Care Pilot Project to Support Seniors Managing Multi-Morbidity in a Primary Care Setting

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