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Can Fam Physician. 2004 March; 50: 397–402.
PMCID: PMC2214558

Shared mental health care. Model for supporting and mentoring family physicians.


PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED: Family physicians lack access to psychiatrists and mental health services for patients with serious and persistent mental illnesses. OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: To develop a mentoring program to provide FPs with education and e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face support for managing patients with mental illness. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Ontario College of Family Physicians' Collaborative Mental Health Care Network developed a mentoring program. Family physicians are grouped according to clinical interest with psychiatrist and general practice psychotherapist mentors whom they can contact for help. Communication is established via e-mail, telephone, fax, or listserv, or even face to face. Monitoring and evaluation is carried out through surveys and chart audits to examine use of, satisfaction with, and effectiveness of the program. CONCLUSION: Mental health care can be enhanced through collaborative at-a-distance relationships between FPs and psychotherapists and psychiatrists. Family physicians can get timely consultation in the areas of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, and access to community resources.

Articles from Canadian Family Physician are provided here courtesy of College of Family Physicians of Canada