Primary Care and Mental Health:

A New Type of Care Team

Primary Care and Mental Health:

A New Type of Care Team


Many of us are experiencing symptoms related to depression, anxiety, and/or overall feelings of burnout.  The feelings of inability to cope with our daily lives or simply feeling overwhelmed by common tasks.  This is especially true in these unstable times of extreme social and economic change. 

Access to our family doctors and specialists in a timely and efficient way has always been challenging, but due to recent staffing shortages, it is disheartening.

Even prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic, there was a need for improvements in the delivery of care, especially in services pertaining to mental health and primary care.  Emphasizing early access to care means fewer sick days and the prevention of chronic disease.

As we pull out of this stage of the pandemic, it is imperative creative solutions are sought where early access and friendly handover to provincially funded programs are the keys. 

A New Type of Mental Health Primary Care Approach

The concept of a Mental Health Primary Care Team is a new and unique approach.  The development of this concept by iCare Virtual’s Medical Director was the result of years of field study in grassroots family medicine, working on the front lines with high needs populations during the pandemic and extensive work with the government
planning/project development.

The bottleneck in mental health services is access to point of first assessment.  Many patients are waiting for a first
appointment even with their family doctors or nurse practitioners.  Meanwhile, others might be waiting to see a psychiatrist on a waiting list that can be up to 1 year long. 

iCare Virtual’s specialized team will aim to bridge the gap for these patients by providing the initial assessment, diagnosis, and treatment (as indicated).  In addition, our goal is to collaborate and
connect with the patient’s regular physician and refer them to local specialists and clinics for follow-up if possible. 
Efficiency in the delivery of care is at the core of this hybrid model.

Patient Journey : Intake to Treatment

The registration and intake are simple and seamless:

Patients can fill out an online form or can call in and speak to our live triage staff.  During this time important background information is collected the visit is directed to the appropriate clinician/provider.  If a comprehensive mental health assessment is required a specialized link is provided for the patient.

iCare Virtual leverages standardized tools to help with diagnosis and treatment in accordance with the DSM 5 Psychiatric criteria.

Next Steps :

The Mental Health Primary Care Team will decide whether follow-up is required by our iCare Virtual team or a specialized referral is needed.