Psychologists: The Missing Link in Modern Healthcare?

The lack of psychologists within primary care is not helping the mental health crisis.

7/6/20242 min read

The mental health crisis isn't news. Headlines blare about rising rates of anxiety, depression, and the devastating consequences of untreated conditions. Governments and healthcare systems scramble to find solutions, often focusing on expanding access to therapy and counseling. But is there a critical piece missing from this puzzle?

As a company deeply invested in the power of focused attention and mental well-being, sees a glaring gap in how we approach healthcare, particularly in North America. It's a gap that could be filled by a profession often relegated to the sidelines: psychologists.

The Private Practice Paradox

Psychologists possess an exceptional depth of knowledge and training in human behavior, cognition, and mental health. They're equipped to not only provide therapy but also to assess, diagnose, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop comprehensive treatment plans. Yet, in countries like Canada, where healthcare is often seen as a universal right, most psychologists remain in private practice.

Why? Because their services aren't covered by provincial health plans (like MSP in British Columbia). This means clients must pay out of pocket, creating a significant barrier to access, especially for those with lower incomes or facing financial hardship.

The irony is palpable. Physicians frequently refer patients to psychologists, recognizing the value they bring. Yet, as few as 10% of those patients follow through due to the financial burden.

The Integrated Care Disconnect

The concept of integrated care teams—where diverse healthcare professionals collaborate seamlessly to provide comprehensive patient care—is gaining traction. This model makes intuitive sense, particularly given the staggering statistic that 40% of physician visits now involve mental health concerns. Imagine the relief for overburdened physicians if they could easily consult with or refer patients to psychologists within their team.

Projects have been proposed to governments to embed psychologists into primary care settings. This could improve patient outcomes dramatically, offering timely and targeted mental health support. Yet, a familiar roadblock emerges: cost.

Governments often balk at the prospect of covering psychologist salaries under public health plans, questioning if "less expensive" counselors could achieve similar results.

The Knowledge Gap We Can't Afford

This cost-focused approach misses the point entirely. Psychologists bring a unique skill set to the table. Their deep understanding of mental processes, their ability to diagnose complex conditions, and their expertise in evidence-based interventions are invaluable.

In a world grappling with a mental health crisis, this knowledge gap is a luxury we can't afford. It's time to re-evaluate our priorities and recognize that investing in psychological expertise isn't an expense—it's an investment in a healthier, more productive society.

At, we're committed to advocating for a future where mental health is given the priority it deserves. We believe that integrating psychologists into healthcare teams is not just a good idea—it's a necessity.

Let's work together to bridge this knowledge gap and ensure that everyone has access to the psychological support they need.

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