Psychologists call on B.C. to provide mental health coverage under Medical Services Plan

More psychological care?

British Columbia psychologists are calling on the provincial government to provide more mental health coverage under its Medical Services Plan (MSP), and the public is invited to give input.

"British Columbians have struggled so much over the past year. COVID-19 has placed our population under enormous stress and now anxiety, depression, and people contemplating suicide are at an all-time high," said the British Columbia Psychological Association in a news release.

The association says successful medical treatment requires a team of professionals working together including nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and other specialty health care providers.

The same is true for successful mental and behavioural health treatment, the group says. "Now is the time to ensure that British Columbians have all qualified professionals available to be a part of their healthcare team—including registered psychologists."

Integrating psychology into healthcare services is standard practice in many parts of the world. The association says access to mental health care would be dramatically improved if B.C. started covering psychological services through the Medical Services Plan (MSP) or the Alternative Payments Plan (APP) with a referral from a physician.

By being able to refer patients to psychologists, family doctors will have more hours available, reducing waitlists, the group says.

If you want to add your voice to the conversation, sign The BC Psychological Association's letter here.

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