People who need help already languish on wait lists, and that may not change Ms. Tomasi writes of a system where those who can afford psychotherapy access services immediately while others deteriorate on waiting lists. She also cites a psychologist who says that there are “…over 4,000 registered psychotherapists in Ontario and we’re all private, our services depend on patients’ private insurance…” This statement is untrue.
In fact, there is a network of Family Service agencies across Ontario providing quick access walkin psychotherapy & appointment-based brief structured psychotherapy from 120+ storefronts to 250,000+ Ontarians a year seeking help with mental health, trauma & addictions issues.
Highly qualified, trained graduate-level psychotherapists provide evidence-based services in 20+ languages on a sliding payment scale; & no one is ever turned away or denied services due to an inability to pay. Also, Family Service agencies treat everyone—including children, youth, adults, seniors, couples & families & are LGBTQ+ friendly & accessible to all with physical disabilities.
Having existing community-based Family Service agencies already providing structured psychotherapy is what will help make the MOHLTC’s mandate a success.
What imperils Ontarians’ access to affordable psychotherapy is lack of awareness that Family Service agencies are currently providing these services when & where people need them most— in their own communities—& that they are affordable & accessible to everyone.