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

A vineyard wind machine caught fire in the early morning hours in Osoyoos Wednesday. (Osoyoos Fire Department Ryan McCaskill photo)
Flames from machine fire cast glow across Osoyoos Lake

A vineyard wind machine was engulfed in flames in the early morning hours Wednesday

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
B.C. budget receives thumbs up from Okanagan fruit growers

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

Cameron Baughen, solid waste management coordinator at the Regional District of the South Okanagan Similkameen, has been spreading the word of at-home composting around Penticton. (Photo - Pixabay)
RDOS and Penticton to launch compost facility study

The study will look at the impact and requirements for a new biosolid waste facility

BC Transit will offer free bus service in the South Okanagan and Similkameen on Earth Day, April 22. (Black Press file photo)
BC Transit to offer free Earth Day bus service in South Okanagan and Similkameen

Conventional routes, On-Request and handyDART services all included in day of free service

road closed
Mudslide closes Penticton road

Eastside Road is closed in both directions, take Highway 97 instead

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

(Pixabay)
Kelowna man facing charges for bike theft

The Kelowna man allegedly stole an e-bike from the 2200-block of Harvey Avenue

Jessica Lynn Pihl
Woman believed to be in North Okanagan wanted by police

RCMP seek public’s help locating 37-year-old

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

Lustenberger getting ready to go down one of the last unskied lines at Rogers Pass on Mt. Macdonald. (Photo by Andrew Mcnab)
Meet Christina Lustenberger — one of Revelstoke’s great skiers

The athlete has many first ski descents throughout B.C.

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

Most Read