In Ontario, adults with depression and anxiety-related conditions can access publicly-funded, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and related approaches to help manage their conditions. CBT is a structured, time-limited therapy that is problem-focused and goal-oriented and teaches practical strategies and skills.
CBT and related approaches can be accessed through the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy (OSP) Program for the following conditions:
- depression and low mood
- generalized anxiety and worry
- health anxiety
- obsessive-compulsive concerns
- other anxiety and stress-related problems
- posttraumatic stress
- social anxiety and performance fears
- specific fears
- unexpected panic attacks and agoraphobic fears
What services are available through OSP?
Individuals aged 16+ with depression and anxiety-related conditions will have access to different services in the OSP program. The service or services recommended will depend on what’s most appropriate for their needs, with most clients starting with self-administered strategies.
- Self-help resources guided by a coach or clinician: This includes a skill-building program delivered over the phone with a trained coach and through online videos. The program, called BounceBack, is designed to help individuals manage low mood, depression and anxiety, stress or worry. We also offer internet-based CBT with a clinician. iCBT is a program delivered online, in which clients are guided by a professional therapist to work through modules, complete readings and exercises, and learn coping and resilience skills. Additional services will be added over time.
- Psychotherapy: This includes in-person or virtual cognitive-behavioural therapy with a clinician in a one-on-one or group format.
For ages 15+
- Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score above 4
- Generalized Anxiety Assessment Scale (GAD-7)
- Agreeable to attending weekly appointments with a therapist and completing practice assignments between sessions.
Psychiatrists, primary care providers (family doctor, nurse practitioner), or other health care professionals, can refer clients. Alternatively, clients may self-refer. For this area, OSP referrals are coordinated by Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and services are delivered in a wide range of community settings. This includes primary care, community mental health agencies, post-secondary institutions, Indigenous organizations, and the Canadian Mental Health Association for the BounceBack program.
A referral or self-referral can be made by completing the referral form which will be reviewed by our intake team..
If you have any questions about the referral form, please contact Ontario Shores at 1-877-767-9642 or email us at: @email
Those under 18 may be able to access services, including:
- Guided self-help CBT: The BounceBack program is available by telephone for youth aged 15-17
- A referral or self-referral can be made to the BounceBack program by completing an online form. This referral will be automatically sent to the BounceBack program.
What happens after the referral is submitted?
Once the online referral form is submitted, clients are contacted by telephone to gather additional information for screening purposes. If, following that screening, it is determined services may be appropriate, the client will be booked an appointment for a Clinical Intake and Triage assessment. The assessment will determine whether the program is a good fit for the client’s needs and which service is most appropriate for them to start with. The client's status will be shared with the referring provider and, if OSP cannot meet the client’s needs, then more appropriate services will be recommended, if possible. If BounceBack is the most appropriate service, the client will hear from the Canadian Mental Health Association BounceBack program directly.
What about ongoing monitoring?
Clients are regularly monitored to ensure they are reaching standard program outcomes and that the program continues to meet their ongoing needs. Clients will be transitioned to other services within OSP or provided direction to services outside of OSP as needed. Clients and their primary care providers are informed of the client’s treatment and outcomes.