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Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program available for mental health support

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression, trauma or anxiety related concerns, there could be timely, free help available for you through the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program (OSP).

“This program is available throughout Ontario, and in our Simcoe/Muskoka/North Central area in 16 physical locations, as well as virtually, either through the Internet or via telephone,” explained Jessie Daniel of Waypoint Centre, which is coordinating the program in this area.

Daniel went on to explain that the program primarily focusses on offering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which has been proven to be highly effective for anxiety and depression.

“OSP is a stepped care program,” Daniel continued. “To help connect clients to the service that can best meet their needs, an initial screening and assessment are completed by a trained service provider. If they’re eligible for the program, most clients will begin with self-led resources guided by a coach or clinician and will move to individual or group therapy if they require additional support.”

OSP is a highly accessible program. In our area, many individuals do not have a primary care physician, which is a barrier for referral for many kinds of mental help. “Clients who would like to access OSP can self-refer, so they don’t need to be referred by a doctor,” said Daniel. “In addition, our wait times are very low. Currently, once a client reaches out, they can start their program within 32 days, in our area.”

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) lends itself well to a client-led model. “Research has shown that CBT is one of the most effective types of therapy,” said Daniel. “It can get a client to the point where they can recognize and implement those skills on their own, and manage their own anxieties that way.”

Daniel continued, “The program is delivered Ontario-wide through nine regional networks of mental health providers that include local hospitals, community organizations and health care providers at different service delivery site locations. To date, over 66,000 people have enrolled in the OSP program and all regional networks, including Central Ontario, are continuing to accept new clients.”

In short, OSP is available, accessible, and making a difference in the lives of people with anxiety and depression in Ontario.

“We are pleased to report the Initial success of the program which shows the majority of those who completed high-intensity treatments had significant reduction in their symptoms, helping them lead happier and healthy lives,” said Daniel. “I would urge anyone with anxiety and depression to reach out and sign up. It’s secure and easy to enroll, and it could help you.”

To sign up for the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program, go here.