CPA statement on New Brunswick’s Bill 35

“The Canadian Psychological Association’s guidance paper on psychological test safety describes the training necessary to use psychological tests as part of an assessment of an individual’s cognitive, emotional and behavioural functioning. It is the CPA’s position that psychologists are uniquely trained to undertake psychological assessments, which include, but are not limited to the administration of a single test. The CPA opposes any diagnostic, treatment or remedial decisions made on the basis of the results of a single psychological test alone.”

CPA submitted a letter to the New Brunswick government detailing our position on psychological test use and opposing the sections of the Bill which proposes that qualified teachers be able to administer level C tests. Click here to read the letter.


Standing Committee Releases 2021 Pre-Budget Recommendations

As part of the federal government’s pre-budget consultation process of which CPA contributed to, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance released its report. Importantly, two of its top five recommendations focused on investing in a long-term mental health COVID-19 recovery plan for all Canadians, and targeted investments that will improve access to primary care, mental health supports and virtual care. It also included a recommendation to provide a one-time 25% increase in funding to the Tri-Councils for research restart and recovery. Hopefully all three will be reflected in the 2021 federal budget.

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Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Legault (February 2021)

Given that Prime Minister Trudeau recently signaled the federal government’s willingness to discuss increasing its share of health funding to the provinces and territories, the CPA and the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental health (CAMIMH) wrote to the Prime Minister and Premier urging them to increase their investments in mental health services and treatments.
CPA Letter to Prime Minister and Premiers
CAMIMIH Letter to Prime Minister and Premiers


Strong Majority of Canadians Want Improved Access to Psychologists

CPA LogoCPAP logo

Strong Majority of Canadians Want Improved Access to Psychologists

January 5, 2021 (Ottawa) – Canada and countries throughout the world increasingly recognize the importance of mental health to the success of their citizens, economies and societies.  The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant burden on our mental health and wellbeing, making the need for timely access to mental health care even more urgent.

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP) asked Nanos Research to survey over 3,000 Canadians to better understand how they perceive the role of psychologists, the barriers and solutions to accessing care, and the quality of care they receive.

“This survey shines a light on the importance Canadians place on their mental health and the value they place on psychologists in helping people address their mental health problems”, said Dr. Karen Cohen, CEO, CPA.  “Canadians are clear that Canada needs innovative and sustainable solutions across the public and private sectors that will improve timely access to evidence-based mental health care for people who need it”.

“The need for additional investments to care for those with mental health and substance use problems has never been more acute”, said Mr. Christopher Cameron, CPAP Executive Director.  “More specialized and individual care will be needed by those Canadians with pre-existing mental health conditions and by those who develop them as a result of COVID-19”.

The survey found:

Barriers to Access Care

  • 78% of Canadians report that psychological services costing too much for them to pay for themselves is a very significant (52%) or somewhat significant (26%) barrier.
  • 73% of Canadians say that the services of psychologists are not being covered by provincial/territorial health plans is a very significant (47%) or significant (26%) barrier.
  • 68% of Canadians say wait times to see a psychologist being too long is a very significant (35%) or somewhat significant (33%) barrier.
  • 66% of Canadians say that psychological services not being covered by their employer’s health benefit plan is a very significant (40%) or somewhat significant (26%) barrier.
  • 46% of Canadians say that preferring to deal with these problems/disorders on their own is a very significant (16%) or somewhat significant (30%) barrier.
  • 39% of Canadians say not wanting others to know they are seeing a psychologist is a very significant (14%) or somewhat significant (25%) barrier.

Solutions to Improve Access to Care

  • Almost 9 out of 10 Canadians (57%) support or somewhat support (31%) improving access to psychologists through the publicly-funded health care system.
  • 83% of Canadians say psychologists working collaboratively with other health professionals, such as a family physician in primary care teams, is a very good idea (50%) or good idea (33%).
  • 76% of Canadians think that better access (more funded mental health care services and higher financial caps) to psychologists through their employer health benefit plan is a very good idea (42%) or good idea (34%).

A majority of Canadians perceive psychologists as being effective in helping people with specific mental health problems like depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, dementia, addiction, and the stress of being diagnosed with a disease.  Canadians also perceive psychologists as being effective in diagnosing people with mental health problems like depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, dementia and addiction.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached beyond our physical health and we are likely to feel its psychological and social impacts for some time to come.  We must invest and protect our most valuable assets…people.  There is no health without mental health.  The CPA is committed to working collaboratively with all levels of government, employers and insurers to ensure that Canadians receive evidence-based care where, and when, they need it.  The time to act is now.

To review the results in detail – which includes a breakdown by provinces and territories, gender and age, please to the CPA’s website:  cpa.ca.

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About the CPA

The Canadian Psychological Association is the national voice for the science, practice and education of psychology in the service of the health and welfare of Canadians.  The CPA is Canada’s largest association for psychology and represents psychologists in public and private practice, university educators and researchers, as well as students.  Psychologists are the country’s largest group of regulated and specialized mental health providers, making our profession a key resource for the mental health treatment Canadians need.

About CPAP

The Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists is comprised of 13 national, provincial and territorial psychology associations, and has four objectives: facilitating knowledge exchange amongst member associations; identify and share best practices amongst member associations; advocating for the needs of Canadian psychologists and the people that they support; and develop leadership potential and capacity in Canadian psychologists.

About the Survey

Nanos Research conducted a representative online survey of 3,070 Canadians, drawn from a non-probability panel between September 25th and October 2nd, 2020.  The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.  The research was commissioned by the Canadian Psychological Association and was conducted by Nanos Research.

Contact: Mr. Eric Bollman
Communications Specialist
Canadian Psychological Association
(613) 853-1061
ebollman@cpa.ca(613) 853-1061


To view the national survey results, click HERE.

Provincial/Territorial Survey Results:


COVID-19 Worsening Canadians’ Access to Psychologists

CPA LogoCPAP logo

COVID-19 Worsening Canadians’ Access to Psychologists

December 2, 2020 (Ottawa) – With the significant impact COVID-19 is having on the mental health of Canadians, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP) asked Nanos Research to survey over 3,000 Canadians to better understand how they are managing their mental health and accessing care provided by psychologists.

“We are very concerned about the global pandemic’s impact on the mental health of Canadians, now and into the foreseeable future.  Canada had a crisis of access to mental health care before the pandemic.  Now, more than ever, we need to implement innovative and sustainable solutions – in the public and private sectors – to improve timely access to mental health care provided by psychologists when the people of Canada need it”, said Dr. Karen Cohen CEO of the CPA.

“While other public surveys tell us that Canadians’ mental health is in decline, we need to ensure that the public and private sectors have the policies, programs and services to meet this impending demand for mental health care”, said Mr. Christopher Cameron, CPAP Executive Director.  “Psychologists are highly trained professionals who can play a vital role in assessing, treating and managing one’s mental health.”

In a pandemic environment where face to face human contact is not an option, Canadians have a strong preference to be treated face-to-face by a psychologist.  The CPA, however, is encouraged that there is an openness to using technology.

The survey found:

Access to Care

  • 56% of Canadians report that COVID-19 has had a negative (33%) or somewhat negative (23%) impact on the ability of Canadians to access mental health care provided by psychologists.
  • At 73%, the majority of Canadians prefer to receive psychological services face-to-face. Although older Canadians (55+) are more likely to say they would prefer to receive services face-to-face (80%) than those 35 to 54 (70%), and 18 to 34 (65%).
  • 92% of Canadians report that they have not accessed services from a psychologist since the COVID-19 pandemic. Of note, older Canadians (55+) are less likely to report having accessed services (3%) than those 35 to 54, or 18 to 34 (11% each).
  • For those who accessed psychological care during COVID-19, 47% of Canadians report it was provided through private insurance, 26% from the public health system, or 26% from out-of-pocket expenses. The highest group paying out-of-pocket 55+ years (39%) is likely because in retirement fewer have employer-provided, private health insurance.
  • For those who accessed psychological care during COVID-19 (8%), 84% of Canadians report it was provided within a reasonable (50%) or somewhat reasonable (34%) period of time.
  • 85% of Canadians would be willing (58%) or somewhat willing (27%) to attend if an in-person assessment by a psychologist was needed for memory loss, stroke, brain injury, ADHD, or a learning disorder.

Virtual Care

  • With physical/social distancing rules in place, 71% of Canadians say they are willing (36%) or somewhat willing (35%) to use technology – like telemedicine – to receive mental health care provided by psychologists.
  • Of the 29% of Canadians who had concerns using technology to receive care provided by psychologists, they identified the following issues: (1) privacy/ confidentiality (8%); (2) barriers to establishing good communication (5%); (3) security/ hackers (4%); (4) prefer face-to-face (3%); (5) impersonal (2%); and (6) challenges using technology (2%).

Given the unprecedented times in which we live, we must invest and protect our most valuable assets…people.  Our first wealth must always be our mental health.  The CPA is committed to working collaboratively with all levels of government, employers and insurers so that Canadians receive evidence-based care where, and when, they need it.

To review the results in detail – which includes a breakdown by province and territory, gender and age, please visit our website:  cpa.ca.

– 30 –

About the CPA

The Canadian Psychological Association is the national voice for the science, practice and education of psychology in the service of the health and welfare of Canadians.  The CPA is Canada’s largest association for psychology and represents psychologists in public and private practice, university educators and researchers, as well as students.  Psychologists are the country’s largest group of regulated and specialized mental health providers, making our profession a key resource for the mental health treatment Canadians need.

About CPAP

The Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists is comprised of 13 national, provincial and territorial psychology associations, and has four objectives: facilitating knowledge exchange amongst member associations; identify and share best practices amongst member associations; advocating for the needs of Canadian psychologists and the people that they support; and develop leadership potential and capacity in Canadian psychologists.

About the Survey

Nanos Research conducted a representative online survey of 3,070 Canadians, drawn from a non-probability panel between September 25th and October 2nd, 2020.  The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.  The research was commissioned by the Canadian Psychological Association and was conducted by Nanos Research.

Contact: Mr. Eric Bollman
Communications Specialist
Canadian Psychological Association
(613) 853-1061
ebollman@cpa.ca(613) 853-1061


To view the national survey results, click HERE.

Provincial/Territorial Survey Results:


Working with the Federal Government

CPA sent a letter to the House of Commons Standing Committee to offer our expertise in assisting in identifying sustainable solutions that keep Canadians mentally as well as physically healthy (see letter).

CPA, along with other national health organizations, met with the Federal Minister of Health on May 21st to discuss the role of the federal government in the context of COVID-19.  The Minister did indicate that the government is discussing what additional investments could be made in the mental health space.


Federal Emergency Response Programs

The federal government has announced a series of programs to address disruptions in employment income and business revenue.  Most recently the CPA was pleased to see changes in the Canada Emergency Business Account [CEBA], which expands the payroll threshold from $50,000 to $20,000 to be eligible for a maximum loan of $40,000.  The CPA remains concerned that members in private practice are still not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit [CERB], the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy [CEWS], and Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) programs and has communicated with the Minister of Finance and Health (see letter). In coordinating its efforts, the CPA has worked closely with the Extended Health Care Professionals Coalition.


Federal Government’s Priorities

  1. Ministerial Mandate Letters – reviews the 2019 Mandate Letters that were issued by the Prime Minster to ministers of the crown that are relevant to the priorities of the CPA.
    Ministers Mandate Letters February 27 2020.pdf
  2. Overview of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Bi-Lateral Funding Agreements for Mental Health and Addiction Services – provides a detailed look at the series of Federal-Provincial-Territorial bi-lateral agreements (i.e., the $11 billion over 10 years for home and community care, and mental health and addiction services) that were signed in 2017.  It also identifies the key priorities to be addressed by each province and territory.
    FMHA Overview 2017-18 to 2021-22 March 30 2020.pdf

CPA, OPA and CAPDA Letter to College of Psychologists of Ontario re: Registration of Psychology Practitioners at the Master’s Level

March 28, 2019 – The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) and the Canadian Academy of Psychologists in Disability Assessment (CAPDA) write a letter to express their profound concerns over the September 2018 motion approved by the Council of the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) to continue registration of psychology practitioners at the master’s level and, further, to grant them the title ‘Psychologist.’ This 2018 motion overturns a 2013 decision of the Council to stop registering master’s practitioners of psychology.

Click here. for the full letter.

Psychology and Public Policy: A Government Relations Guide for Psychologists

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is pleased to announce the release of a new edition of Psychology and Public Policy: A Government Relations Guide for Psychologists. This updated guide is designed to encourage psychologists toward greater political participation and provides the basic tools and guidance needed for bringing issues forward to government. This new version includes expanded appendices with the tools you will need to craft letters and meet with elected representatives.

Psychology and Public Policy: A Government Relations Guide for Psychologists (2013) – 28 pages; $4.50.

To access the order form, click here.