UBC Graduate Research

Primary mental health care in British Columbia : an opportunity for nurse practioners Sadkowski, Marta


The Ministry of Health has identified priority improvements for primary care in British Columbia which include an increased proportion of British Columbians attached to a primary care provider, and enhanced access to services for British Columbians experiencing mental health & substance use issues through the creation of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) (Government of BC, 2015; Government of BC, 2020a). It is anticipated that PCN providers –including Family Nurse Practitioners or NP(F)s – will be skilled in providing primary mental health care to help address unmet care needs of British Columbians (Government of BC, 2020b). Given the novelty and complexity of PCNs, it is essential that Quality Improvement (QI) work be undertaken to evaluate the quality of care being provided, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that identified care needs are being appropriately met. This project will describe the current primary care landscape in British Columbia and identify key plans and assertions made by the Government of BC and key regulatory bodies with respect to primary mental health care delivery. A QI project with the goal of assessing the confidence and skill of NP(F)s to provide primary mental health will be proposed. The ultimate aim of the project will be to identify QI goals and strategies to ensure that primary mental health care needs are being met through primary care system developments.

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