In response to the rapid shift toward virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and addiction stakeholders from across Ontario came together to form the Mental Health and Addiction (MHA) Virtual Care Collaboration. This Collaboration aims to support the use of best practices in mental health and addiction virtual care delivery in the prov-ince, working on five topic areas related to virtual care: best practices, training, platforms, equipment and connectivity and documentation.
For many service providers, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a sudden shift from delivering services in person to delivering services remotely. Fortunately, several options are available for providing virtual care. These options include using videoconferencing platforms to see clients, communicating through email and secure messaging, and using apps and other digital tools.
While e-mental health services can be an effective and complementary option to traditional face-to-face services, the implementation of these services can be challenging. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has developed a Toolkit for e-Mental Health Implementation, which was designed to:
- provide background information on e-health services
- help practitioners plan for implementation by providing useful planning tools and templates
- serve as a resource for front-line practitioners, managers, and others with a focus on project implementation, quality and risk
- serve as a starting point for promoting knowledge sharing (for example, lessons learned, successes and challenges).
The information in the toolkit was gathered from the knowledge and experience of its authors and research group, as well as from an environmental scan and rapid review of the literature, interviews with subject matter experts, peer-reviewed research, and insights gained at various meetings, gatherings and forums. Templates and examples were provided by organizations with expertise in e-mental health service delivery. The toolkit contains five modules, explored in the attached PDF.
Download "Toolkit for e-mental health implementation" (PDF).