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B.C. psychologists call for more MSP-covered mental health services

Last Updated Apr 16, 2021 at 2:33 pm PDT

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Summary

BC Psychological Association says COVID-19 pandemic has placed everyone under a lot of stress

Association wants to see greater MSP coverage for people to see psychologists to improve their mental health

Association also wants to see psychologists working side by side with physicians

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Psychologists in B.C. are calling on the government to provide more mental health coverage under the Medical Services Plan.

The BC Psychological Association says people have been struggling over the past year and the pandemic has placed everyone under enormous stress, leading to more cases of anxiety and depression.

Dr. Erika Penner with the association says while the province has taken steps towards addressing these issue, more needs to be done, including adding more coverage.

“We’d really like to see greater coverage for psychologists for those patients who do need a higher level of care, for whom seeing a psychologist a couple of times in a primary care setting just isn’t enough,” she said.

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Penner would also like to see a move to take some pressure off of doctors.

“One of our proposals is to have psychologists working side-by-side with family physicians, knowing that we can really provide support to them and to patients to both improve mental health but also improve some of our physical health outcomes,” she explained.

She says there are a number of benefits to placing psychologists in doctor’s offices, including reducing the stigma that often comes with seeking help with mental health.

Numerous studies have found the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on Canadians’ mental health.

The association has launched a petition that has already gathered thousands of signatures and is urging people to use the hashtag #TherapyIsMedicine Too on social media.