Sudbury

Health Sciences North selected as lead for provincial psychotherapy program

Health Sciences North is leading the restructuring of how psychotherapy services are offered across the northeast.

Program will be tailored to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy to people with mood disorders

Health Sciences North will be taking the lead in a new psychotherapy program offered in northeastern Ontario. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Health Sciences North (HSN) is leading the restructuring of how psychotherapy services are offered across the northeast.

The program will be tailored specifically to providing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to people with mood disorders and anxiety.

According to HSN, CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps people to develop alternative ways of thinking and behaving, helping to reduce their psychological distress.

Natalie Aubin, administrative director of the mental health and addictions program at HSN, said the hospital will become the central point for referrals and delivery of psychotherapy.

New health professionals will be trained and existing service providers organized to provide access to clients across the region– even in remote areas without internet access, Aubin said.

"I think what's important is that at the end, whatever services provided meet the needs of each individual," Aubin said.  "So if I prefer to receive my service virtually, then we make those things available."

"I think it's about being creative," Aubin said. "It's about being flexible, about building a system that truly meets the needs of people across northeastern Ontario."

Aubin said they'll be using a blueprint to develop the network that's already been tested elsewhere in Ontario.

"It really is a transformation of how we offer service," Aubin said. "It's such an exciting time for our sector." 

Aubin said the restructuring is in its early stages but hopes to have the network in place for their first client by the end of next March.

In a press release, the hospital said:

"As a new network lead, HSN will begin working closely with health service providers to identify new service delivery sites in the region, while developing governance, fiscal, clinical and administrative infrastructure to prepare to meet the healthcare needs of clients of Northeastern Ontario."

Health Sciences North is organizing a network of health professionals across the northeast to offer talk therapy to clients with mood disorders and anxiety. Natalie Aubin, the administrative director of the mental health and addictions program at Health Sciences North, shared more details with us. 4:51

With files from Kate Rutherford

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