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Health Services and Policy




Using Telehealth to Augment Delivery of Mental Health Services by Family Health Teams: Potential barriers and possible solutions
R.W. Pong, J.C. Hogenbirk, P. Montgomery, and K. Boydell

One of the nine objectives of the Family Health Teams (FHTs) in Ontario is to provide comprehensive primary care. Included within this objective is the provision of "primary mental health care (early identification and treatment of emotional and psychiatric illnesses and, where appropriate, collaboration with psychiatrists or FHT mental health workers)." This research project used a focused literature search and review, key informant interviews and focus group discussions to identify which mental health care services could be provided by Family Health Teams by means of telecommunications technology. The researchers reviewed successes/failures in tele-mental health service delivery - focusing on those that have the highest relevance to Ontario and primary care. In addition, the researchers examined potential solutions to barriers such as those related to readiness, integration, policies (e.g., remuneration, licensure, credentialing), client and provider willingness-to-use, etc. The research report identified knowledge gaps and synthesize the findings and their implications for policy- and decision-makers.

(funded by Ontario Mental Health Foundation and Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)

[To read the final report "Using Telehealth to Augment Delivery of Mental Health Services by Family Health Teams: Potential Barriers and Possible Solutions", please visit our Online Reports page.]



(Names in bold denote CRaNHR investigators and research staff)