The BCPA launched a petition this March, calling the provincial government to include psychologists in the list of eligible providers through MSP billing for consultation and psychotherapy. (Black Press file)

The BCPA launched a petition this March, calling the provincial government to include psychologists in the list of eligible providers through MSP billing for consultation and psychotherapy. (Black Press file)

B.C. psychologists petition government for more mental health coverage under MSP

B.C. Psychological Association says current covered programs fail to meet the demand of British Columbians

Psychologists in British Columbia say the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the need for more mental health coverage in Medical Services Plans.

“Depression, anxiety, and people contemplating suicide are at an all-time high,” says B.C. Psychological Association advocacy director Dr. Lesley Lutes.

The association launched a petition this March, calling the provincial government to include psychologists in the list of eligible providers available through MSP billing.

“Psychologists can then provide the much-needed mental health prevention, early intervention, and care to our residents,” says Lutes.

So far, the petition has been signed by close to 1,400 people.

READ MORE: What happens if B.C. re-enters a COVID lockdown? Psychologist says we’ll be OK

Some services are currently covered with the province’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, created in 2017, but the intake process can take months. They are mainly accessible through a hospital or mental health clinic.

These programs fail to meet the demand of British Columbians the B.C. Psychological Association says, especially for those who cannot afford to pay for counselling out of pocket.

In 2019, the province spent $1.2-billion on pharmacological interventions including prescribed medicine for the management of chronic health and mental health conditions.

RELATED: Amid COVID-19 panic, B.C. psychologist urges shoppers to not clear out grocery stores

The association says B.C.’s overall health-care costs would drop if patients’ are provided counselling by the public health system. There would be fewer mental health-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

“By providing physicians with this additional specialty referral it will decrease the overburdened family doctors and psychiatrists,” concludes Lutes.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

mental health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

In mid-March, the BCPA launched an online campaign that included expert presentations and a petition now signed by over 1,300 people who are calling on the government to take action. (BCPA)

In mid-March, the BCPA launched an online campaign that included expert presentations and a petition now signed by over 1,300 people who are calling on the government to take action. (BCPA)

Just Posted

Bella Coola Valley Arts Council’s (BCVAC) Ida Eriksen enjoys a full life since retiring to the Bella Coola Valley Coola in 2013. She volunteers for BCVAC and likes to carve out time for art, gardening and hiking. (Photo submitted)
Art House Gallery keeps community connections close during COVID times

An art sale of the artwork of Ernest and Jill Hall will take place this weekend

A grass fire west of Williams Lake, seen here Tuesday, is considered to be being held by members of the BC Wildfire Service. (Photo submitted)
Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A black bear tries to get at a bird feeder at a home near Williams Lake. (Laura Ulrich photo)
Managing bear attractants a top priority in B.C. for 2021: Conservation Officer Service

Garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, compost and livestock are common attractants for bears

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after being recorded making comments to a DTES harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Sarah Blyth/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Police officer convicted of uttering threats under B.C. watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to civilian Sarah Blyth

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

B.C. Premier John Horgan greets Lt. Governor Janet Austin’s dog Macduff as she arrives to present the throne speech at the B.C. legislature, April 12, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of B.C. residents have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read