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Expansion of mental health program will help 1,000 people a year

Expansion part of multi-million-dollar investment in mental health care by province
waypoint pic
The Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care is increasing access to some key services. Contributed photo

A program that offers free mental health therapy in North Simcoe announced its expansion across the region at a recent celebration at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.

Speaking during Mental Illness Awareness Week, Waypoint President and CEO Carol Lambie announced the expansion is part of a major multi-million dollar investment in mental health care by the province.

The Increasing Access to Structured Psychotherapy (IASP) program offers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to support, and change, the lives of adults with anxiety and depression in our communities.

“Delivered in a wide-range of settings including primary care, community mental health and family services agencies, the first phase included partners in Midland and Penetanguishene,” said Carol Lambie. “In Phase 2 we are expanding from four service delivery partners to a total of 18 partners across North Simcoe Muskoka working together to address a gap in community mental health care.”

In addition to North Simcoe, the program will now be offered in the following areas: Couchiching/Orillia area, Muskoka and Area, South Georgian Bay/Collingwood, and Barrie and Area. The program is anticipated to serve up to a thousand people annually.

Trent Simons, IASP Therapist from CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre, shared that seeing his clients improve gives him a great deal of fulfilment. “In three to four months, I see a return to a passion for life, healed relationships and blossoming lives.”

This three-year demonstration program has an emphasis on providing evidence-based CBT and will be evaluated to inform future programming and possible expansion to other areas of the province.

A team of staff from Waypoint has been leading the training of therapists, oversight and evaluation along with the other provincial partners – the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby.

For more information about the program and to access the Referral Form, please contact the IASP Coordination Team at 1-877-341-4729 ext. 2883, or visit here.