Ontario government expands virtual mental health services

The government is rolling out internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs

The Ontario government is expanding virtual mental health services to help those experiencing anxiety and depression amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provincial government’s $12 million fund for mental health services is helping agencies hire and train more staff and obtaining the necessary equipment that they need. It is also supporting the enhancement of virtual support for numerous services.

The funding has gone towards rolling out internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs, which allow people to find the appropriate support they need.

“Clients can self-refer to programs through the various service providers listed and be guided through their client journey to find the appropriate support they need,” the government notes in a press release.

Part of the funding will go towards helping frontline health care workers who are experiencing anxiety or PTSD. Individuals who require intensive levels of care will be referred to virtual face-to-face care.

“By expanding access to free virtual and online mental health support, I want those who are struggling to know that we are here to support and help you cope with the stress, isolation and anxiety during these extraordinary times,” said Premier Doug Ford in a press release.

Ontarians can learn more about the mental health services through the government’s designated COVID-19 information page.

This comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that the federal government is investing $240 million CAD to bring healthcare online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Government of Ontario