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Invest in mental health care accessibility, specifically reducing barriers for equity-deserving groups

"It is essential that governments, health systems, care providers and other key stakeholders recognize and act upon the opportunity to invest in accessible and equitable mental health care delivery" - Dr. Jill Murphy

Investment in broad accessibility of digital care is required, recognizing that one size does not fit all. For example, in the FOCUS survey, 65% of Canadians respondents reported they wanted to access mental health services in the last 6 months, but only 58% were able to gain access to the mental health services. Young adults living in rural areas, those who lost income due to COVID-19 and those who experienced ethno-racial discrimination were more likely to report unmet mental health service needs. Accessibility considerations include cultural appropriateness, availability of care in appropriate languages, usability considerations and providing options across diverse platforms (e.g. SMS texts messaging to promote privacy and safety, telephone-based options for populations with low digital literacy or other technology access barriers). Further, including all mental health support in publicly funded health coverage is important to reducing financial barriers to mental health care, which is particularly important for 2S/LGBTQ+ individuals since 2S/LGBTQ+-affirming mental health care is rarely covered by employee insurance in Canada and being financially pressured into accessing non-affirming care increases risk of experiencing stigmatizing interactions. There is also a need for improved access to and options for mental health support through improved integration of services, streamlined referral pathways between mental and other health services, and a focus on strengthening connections to timely and appropriate mental health supports. Increasing availability of tailored services and early interventions for populations experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, disproportionate mental health needs is also crucial.​

Supporting research

  • Sex in the Time of COVID-19

    BC Centre for Disease Control
    2S/LGBTQ+COVID-19IndigenousPeople of colourYouth

  • Technology and Equitable Access for Mental Healthcare in a post-COVID Asia Pacific (TEAM-CAP)

    University of British Columbia

  • Service provider perspectives on tools to improve access to mental health supports for sexual and gender diverse populations: A qualitative research study

    Simon Fraser University
    Provider perspectives2S/LGBTQ+Virtual careCOVID-19Service user perspectives

  • Invisible No More

    Provider perspectivesCOVID-19Gender

  • COVID-19, Caregiving and Careers of Alberta Teachers and School Leaders: A Qualitative Study

    Simon Fraser University


    University of British Columbia

BC Alliance for Monitoring Mental Health Equity respectfully acknowledges that the land on which we work is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.

BC Alliance for Monitoring Mental Health Equity

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