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Quebec's mental health policies

Implementation of the MHAP 2005-2010: A work in progress

by Matthew Menear (26/03/2013)
This past February, Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services published an evaluation of the implementation of the province's Mental Health Action Plan (MHAP) 2005-20101. The report states that progress has been made in implementing many aspects of the MHAP and that noticeable improvements to service delivery and organization have occurred in regions where implementation efforts have been successful. However, the evaluation also revealed that full implementation of most local, regional and national measures remained incomplete both across and within regions, and that specified service targets have, with few exceptions, failed to be met...

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The Health and Welfare Commissioner's 4th report: Lessons learned?

by Matthew Menear (02/01/2013)
The mission of the Health and Welfare Commissioner is to contribute to improving the health and welfare of the Quebec population through appraisals of the performance achieved by the province's health and social services system. The Commissioner also makes public information that informs societal debates and government decision-making. In December 2012, the Commissioner released its fourth appraisal report, which examines the performance of Quebec's mental health system...

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Supporting primary mental health care teams

by André Delorme (20/07/2011)
Building a hierarchy of mental health services with a strong first line of care is a major objective of the reform triggered by the Mental Health Action Plan 2005-2010. In this hierarchical organization, the role of primary mental health care teams in the centres de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS - Health and social service centres) is critical. In an effort to support and structure the activities of these teams, and to promote best practices, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux recently published a guide titled "Orientations relatives à l'organisation des soins et des services offerts à la clientèle adulte par les équipes en santé mentale de première ligne en CSSS" (Guide for the organization of care and services for adults by primary mental health care teams in CSSSs)...

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Building a hierarchy of mental health services with a strong first line of care is a major objective of the reform triggered by the Mental Health Action Plan 2005-2010. In this hierarchical organization, the role of primary mental health care teams in the centres de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS - Health and social service centres) is critical. In an effort to support and structure the activities of these teams, and to promote best practices, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux recently published a guide titled "Orientations relatives à l'organisation des soins et des services offerts à la clientèle adulte par les équipes en santé mentale de première ligne en CSSS" (Guide for the organization of care and services for adults by primary mental health care teams in CSSSs)

Despite the guide's official release in May 2011, work related to its development was initiated three years ago. The process began with the creation of an expert committee that met regularly to discuss the main clinical and organization-level challenges faced by team managers and professionals. This committee consisted of representatives of professional orders, managers, researchers, clinicians, mental health service users and the families of people with mental health problems. The committee's role was to provide the Department of Mental Health with input for the development of this guide.

In addition to the committee, the Department of Mental Health furthered its reflection by visiting with teams and consulting the literature, ad hoc advisory committees and the other ministerial departments affected by these guidelines.

Though the consultation and co-development processes can be lengthy and intense, it is necessary for the guidance to be taken up into practice. I am proud of the result we achieved, as we not only reached consensus on these guidelines but based them on a solid foundation of research evidence. Once implemented, they should help strengthen our primary mental health care services and allow us more adequately meet the population's needs.

Currently, we are focused on supporting teams as they implement the different clinical-administrative strategies found in the guide. Visits in each territory have begun and a new support team within the National Centre of Excellence in Mental Health will soon be created. This team will be dedicated specifically to supporting the primary mental health care teams in CSSSs.

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Evolution of policies

by Léo-Roch Poirier (28/02/2011)
Until the 1960s, the majority of mental health problems were treated in mental hospitals. Operating essentially as a daycare service, they often took in several thousand "patients", and offered very little in structured treatments. However, things changed very quickly as a result of several factors: the introduction of antipsychotics, the development of medical specialization programs in psychiatry and, above all, patients' criticisms regarding their living conditions in these hospitals...

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April 2016 A new mental health action plan for Quebec
 
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