British Columbia Psychological Association Offers the next BC Government Solutions to Make Mental Health Care More Effective and Efficient

Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The British Columbia Psychological Association offers the BC Government solutions to today’s healthcare issues.

  • In 2015, depressive disorders were estimated to be the number one single cause of ‘years lost due to disability’ in the world – 7.5% of all disabilities. Including anxiety disorders, it increases to approximately 10.9% of all disabilities worldwide (World Health Organization)
  • In 2012, a total of 2.8 million Canadians aged 15 or older (10.1% of the population) reported symptoms of mental health or substance use disorders in the preceding 12 months. At some point in their life 1 in 3 Canadians (33% or approximately 9.1 million) will likely suffer from one of these disorders (Statistics Canada)
  • The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) estimates, that for all mental health and substance use disorders, approximately 1 in 5 individuals (or 20%) will experience significant problems and impairment in functioning in any 12-month period. Further, the MHCC study reported a 50% prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders by the age of 40 years-old (MHCC, 2017)
  • The economic costs of mental health and substance use problems to the Canadian economy are estimated at over $50 billion per year. The economic cost to the BC economy would be more than $6.6 billion per year (MHCC, 2017)
  • In 2015/2016 mental health and substance use funding by the BC Ministry of Health represented only 7% ($974 million) of total health authority expenses ($13.7 billion) (Auditor General of BC)
  • Psychologists save the healthcare system money – a meta-analysis of studies found psychological interventions resulted in an average health cost savings of 20–30% across those studies and 90% reported evidence of a medical cost offset (Hunsley, 2002)

  • A study in Canadian Family Physician reported that brief psychological intervention in a family medical centre reduced medical appointments by 49% as well as a reduction in overall health costs (Jayabarathan, 2004)

Recommended British Columbia Healthcare Policies

  • Include Psychologists in policy review and program development for Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) services

  • Include Psychologists in team based, shared care with physicians to provide MHSU evidence-based assessments and treatments for the “Getting Better” population with acute or intermittent needs

  • Refer to Psychologists for the provision of evidence-based MHSU treatment for people with chronic and complex, medical and psychological illnesses that use 50% of health care expenditures

  • Include Psychologists practicing in the area of neuropsychology in the assessment and treatment of seniors with dementia and their families

About BC Psychological Association
The British Columbia Psychological Association (BCPA) and its members are committed to supporting the emotional health and psychological well-being of British Columbians. BCPA believes that all British Columbians deserve access to high-quality, clinically proven psychological care provided by Registered Psychologists.


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