(Toronto, ON) March 20, 2020 – Ontario Psychological Association (OPA), the voluntary professional organization representing psychology in Ontario, today announced a partnership with Think Research, a developer of virtual care technology and clinical treatment protocols, to jointly respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Through the partnership, Think Research has made its award-winning VirtualCare platform available to OPA members across Ontario. Adopting this technology will enable OPA members to rapidly offer virtual mental health consultations to their clients while minimizing mutual exposure to COVID-19. It will also allow the OPA to support the Canadian Red Cross efforts and Ontario Ministry of Health response teams in providing care to people affected by COVID-19, such as offering free psychological services to support elderly people in isolation through the OPA Disaster Response Network.
“While COVID-19’s immediate health concerns are significant, mental health issues may prove to be the long-term sleeper complication for Canadians,” says Dr. Sylvain Roy, a neuropsychologist, patient advocate, and past-president of the OPA. “People currently being treated for mental health conditions need to access care to maintain their well being. During a pandemic, they need our support and engagement more than ever.”
In the wider community, shifting to a virtual visit model will make it easier for people to access psychologists and other clinicians providing mental health care. It will also play a role in reducing the need for in-person visits to the home, in-person visits to primary care physicians and other specialists, or for hospitalizations. The OPA estimates that digital access could help their members to better support between 20 and 30 patients per week with their mental health needs. Within a one-year period, it promises to transfer up to 100,000 patients into virtual care.
“During the pandemic, virtual visits have emerged as a logical choice to protect patients, staff, healthcare workers and support staff,” says Sachin Aggarwal, CEO of Think Research. “We’re pleased to partner with the OPA to ensure that people can still get appropriate support for their mental health care needs, particularly during this difficult time, as we continue practicing social distancing to reduce in-person contact. We’re pleased that the Ontario government’s action on accelerating the use of virtual medicine by releasing new billing codes will be able to help people with accessing mental health care.”
About the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA)
The Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) is the voluntary professional organization representing psychology in Ontario. Their members include clinicians, academics, researchers, and students who are dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of Ontarians. The OPA provides leadership to promote the mental health and wellbeing of Ontarians, and to inspire excellence in the profession of psychology through research, education, clinical excellence, and advocacy. For more information about OPA, please visit www.psych.on.ca or follow-us on Twitter @Onpsych. Contact: OPA@psych.on.ca
About Think Research
Think Research, an enterprise clinical content and technology company, delivers evidence-based clinical tools grounded in best practice. Our focused mission is to organize the world’s health knowledge so everyone gets the best care. Since 2006, our cloud-based, digital tools have empowered clinicians around the world and have impacted millions of patients across all sectors of care: acute, primary, long term and community. We are proud to serve as a trusted health system partner to a rapidly growing client base that spans three continents and more than 2,200 healthcare facilities. For more information, visit www.thinkresearch.com or follow us on Twitter @TRChealth.