Are you experiencing depression, trauma, or anxiety-related concerns? 

February 8, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By OSP Central North

Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common types of psychological disorders in Canada and throughout the world. By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, one in two have – or have had – a mental illness. 

These conditions can be effectively treated. You may be eligible for free cognitive-behavioural therapy and related services through the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program (OSP). OSP is for Ontarians aged 18+ who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and trauma-related concerns and offers free Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and related services. 

Services are evidence-based and measurement-based and offered in a stepped-care model that incorporates a range of treatment options to meet clients’ needs. Coordinated in the Central North region by Waypoint Centre for Mental Health carethe services are delivered by select, trained community organizations, and include:

  • Self-led resources guided by a coach or clinician: Fast access, virtual or telephone sessions with a trained clinician or coach using focused workbooks to build coping skills and learn CBT strategies to manage anxiety, stress and low mood. Also, Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) is a program delivered online, guided by a professional therapist to work through modules, complete readings, and exercises to learn coping and resilience skills.
  • Individual or group cognitive-behavioural therapy sessions: In-person or virtual sessions with a clinician in a one-on-one or group format using cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) to help manage conditions and achieve goals. The Network Model removes barriers to accessing services by distributing treatment across the Central North area, enabling care close to home by clinicians who reflect the communities they serve, as well as virtual services for rural communities. These services are available through 28 service delivery sites across the Central North region.

All services in OSP are based on Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approaches. CBT teaches practical skills and techniques to change patterns of behaviour and thinking. This can lead to better mental health and the ability to cope with difficult emotions and situations. OSP is also a stepped care program, meaning most people will begin with the self-led resources and will move up to individual/group therapy if they need more support. While participating in services, client progress and symptom measures will be monitored regularly to help ensure the services are meeting client needs.

OSP Central North – Waypoint accepts self-referral and health care provider referrals. Central North also offers Francophone, Indigenous-focused culturally safe psychotherapy services, and works with interpreter services to connect and provide the program in a client’s preferred language.

The typical journey to access the OSP Central North program is a referral and a short questionnaire is completed by the client or a referral source, which is then reviewed by the screening team of clinically guided and regulated staff. At this point the staff will connect with the client to discuss the next steps which may include collecting more information, scheduling a more in-depth assessment, directing to a self-guided service within OSP or if OSP is not the most supportive program for the person’s needs at this time service navigation will be given to an alternate program. To learn more, speak with your health care provider and/or visit Waitlist updates and other program information can also be found on social media @ontariopsychotherapy 

In light of Bell Lets Talk Day 2024, the goal is to create real change as one in two people struggling with their mental health are not getting the help they need. A major goal of the OSP program is to increase access. OSP offers culturally adapted services, and community-based care while providing quality care. The services through OSP are available to those who are experiencing symptoms related to depression, anxiety, and trauma. This means that the services are available for those who do not have a clinical diagnosis and may be newly experiencing challenges with their mental health. Self-examination and screening is well known and encouraged for physical illnesses, it is time we do the same for mental health.  

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