Effective Modalities of Virtual Care to Deliver Mental Health and Addictions Services in Canada

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table is a group of scientific experts and health system leaders who evaluate and report on emerging evidence relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, to inform Ontario’s response. In this research report, the Advisory Table focuses on the synchronous delivery of virtual mental health care to adults by regulated health care professionals. They conclude that virtual mental health care has been found to be efficacious for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in comparison to in-person care, but that there is limited evidence on its use for individuals suffering from severe mental illness, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. They further conclude that while virtual mental health care has the potential to address barriers to access to care for rural and underserved communities, it could also increase existing inequities in mental health care for under-resourced populations.

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