Access to Service

Access to health services, particularly to quality health care by reducing wait times for assessment and treatment, is a key issue for Canadians and government. Missing among this is a focus on access to mental health services and the health care professionals who provide them. Bringing public and government attention to this issue is a key priority for CPA.

CPA is committed to bringing attention to issues related to access to service and the role of psychologists as part of inter-disciplinary health teams.

CPA position paper entitled Psychologists Practicing to Scope: The Role of Psychologists in Canada’s Public Institutions.

At its June 2016 meeting, the CPA Board of Directors approved a position paper entitled Psychologists Practicing to Scope: The Role of Psychologists in Canada’s Public Institutions. The CPA encourages practitioners to share the paper among colleagues, stakeholders and decision-makers. Feel free to get in touch with CPA’s Executive Office for further information or assistance in disseminating this information (

CPA-Commissioned Reports on Psychological Services

November 2013 – The Efficacy and Effectiveness of Psychological Treatments

March 2013 – An Imperative for Change: Access to Psychological Services for Canada
The Mental Health Commission of Canada applauds the work of the Canadian Psychological Association. Click here to read the letter of support

Access to Services – Tool Kit Materials 

Position Statement: Neuropsychological Services in Canada

Neuropsychological Services in Canada A position statement of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the Association Québécoise des Neuropsychologues (AQNP)

New CPA Section

The CPA would like to announce the formation of a new Section – Psychologists in Hospitals and Health Centers. This Section will provide a forum for psychologists who are employed, practice, teach, or conduct research in hospitals and health care settings.  Convention delegates are invited to attend the Town Hall and organizational meeting that will be held during the CPA’s 73rd Annual Convention in Halifax.

Mental Health Table[1] Access Forum Report Released May 2011

We are pleased to provide you with a copy of the final report (for the French version, click here) from the Mental Health Table Forum, entitled Which Doors Lead to Where? How to Enhance Access to Mental Health Service: Barriers, Facilitators and Opportunities for Canadians’ Mental Health.[2]

The report is the result of a significant effort by a broad cross-section of Canadian health care stakeholders. In October 2010, the Mental Health Table Forum hosted 80 delegates including health care providers, government representatives, consumers of mental health care, as well as organizations representing consumers and providers of care and other NGOs. The purpose of this meeting was to explore issues and perspectives relevant to advancing mental health promotion and front line mental health care delivery in Canada.

Access to health services is a key issue for Canadians and governments at all levels. Providing timely access to high-quality health care by reducing wait times for assessment and treatment is rightly one of the top priorities for health care policy-makers in Canada. Health care priorities need to include a focus on mental health; namely the mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression that affect 1 in 5 Canadians annually as well as the psychological factors that affect how well people maintain their health and manage their illness.

The report provides a synthesis of the working group discussions and the recommendations made by the delegates in attendance about how Canada can do a better job funding mental health services and supports and making them accessible to Canadians.

The recommendations centered around eight key themes:

  • Review and improve funding models to ensure access to necessary services and supports.
  • Establish national standards for mental health care and develop standards for wait times for mental health services and supports.
  • Develop and maintain systems that respond to consumer need and facilitate efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Enhance organization, integration and collaboration with stakeholders across all concerned sectors.
  • Include consumers at the decision-making table.
  • Enhance mental health promotion, prevention and early identification by increasing mental health literacy and reducing stigma.
  • Train health care providers to work collaboratively and to respond to needs of populations within a system that supports collaborative practice.
  • Advocate for legislative change to enhance access and achieve parity for mental health treatments.

As you will see, this report presents a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and the challenges facing the mental health community in Canada today. With the renewal of the federal-provincial health care transfer arrangements only two years away, now is the time to bring mental health to the forefront of health care discussions. This report and its recommendations can facilitate health care discussions that acknowledge the millions of people in this country who have mental health issues but for whom accessible and affordable services and supports are critically lacking.

[1] Member associations: Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, Canadian Association of Social Workers, Canadian Pharmacists Association, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Canadian Psychiatric Association, Canadian Psychological Association (co-Chair), Canadian Federation of Mental Health Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada, The College of Family Physicians of Canada (co-Chair)

[2] Production of the forum was made possible with a financial contribution from Health Canada and the in-kind support of MHT member associations. The views expressed during the Forum or in its materials do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.

CIHR Strategy on Patient-Oriented Research

The purpose of the CIHR Strategy on Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) is to translate research findings into improved health outcomes.  

CIHR has developed a discussion paper that outlines the patient-oriented research strategy and is conducting a national consultation to seek feedback on the proposed country-wide strategy.  

CIHR invites the population and public health research, policy and practice community to review the Executive Summary and the SPOR Discussion Paper.  

After reviewing the documents, please take the time to complete the brief survey to capture your suggestions (deadline for survey completion is end of May). 

Podcast: Role of Psychologists on Primary Health Care Teams

CPA was invited by the Health Council of Canada to create a podcast to talk about innovations in health care The podcast talks about the role of psychologists on primary health care teams. To listen to the podcast go to