Canada’s E-Mental Health Status Update

Posted by: Dawn Schell on March 16, 2015 12:44 pm

Last year the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) published a briefing document on “E-Mental Health in Canada”. It is a worthwhile read. You can check it out here – MHCC E-Mental Health briefing

The aim of this document is to “describe e-Mental health in Canada and to outline the potential that technology has in transforming the delivery of mental health services.”  This briefing paper is intended to inform practitioners, policy makers, funders, academics, researchers and those who develop e-Mental health technologies. The MHCC wanted to highlight “…tremendous possibilities for new technology in promoting mental health and preventing mental health problems.”

keyboard-621830_640The definition of e-Mental health? The MHCC defines it as “…mental health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies” which includes “…telephone, videoconferencing, web-based interventions, interventions using mobile devices, patient monitoring sensors, social media, virtual reality and gaming.” I think that about covers it!  

In thirty-six easily accessible pages the MHCC provides us with an excellent snapshot of the state of e-Mental health in Canada. It’s interesting to see just how far we have come in the past few years in this regard.

The paper discusses the ways in which all of these technologies are transforming the mental health system, looks at key considerations, opportunities and challenges for different populations in Canada, ethics and how to integrate technology into existing services. The paper also includes the MHCC’s vision and recommendations for e-Mental health in Canada. As they say, “The opportunities for the advancement of e-Mental health in Canada are enormous, as are the potential benefits for all Canadians….it’s an important opportunity toward positive change.” I agree.

On the MHCC site related to e-Mental health you can find a video on Distance mental health services that showcases the Strongest Families Institute. While it’s not the way I provide online counselling it does highlight some of the benefits of doing counselling or coaching online.

The MHCC has also set up “collaborative spaces for e-mental health”. Clicking on the link will take you to a section of the website where you can see what others are saying about a variety of E-mental health topics. If you are so minded you can join in the conversations!

Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc. http://www.therapyonline.ca




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

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