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Clients and providers get behind Stepped Care 2.0

In 2017, Newfoundland and Labrador implemented a new Stepped Care 2.0 project at 15 mental health and addiction clinics and two primary care clinics across the province with the goal of improving access to services. The Stepped Care 2.0© model, coined by Dr. Peter Cornish, contributed to a reduction in wait times by 68%, with some communities reporting no wait times.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Stepped Care 2.0 E-Mental Health Demonstration Project report presents a full account of the project’s results and provides a foundation for implementing Stepped Care 2.0 in other jurisdictions across Canada. The project was implemented in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, its four Regional Health Authorities, and the Consumers’ Health Awareness Network of Newfoundland and Labrador.

How Stepped Care 2.0 works
Stepped Care 2.0 provides rapid, same day, flexible access to wellness and mental health resources that include e-mental health apps, online self-help services, and behavioural prescriptions. It’s an evidence-based system that organizes care according to the least intensive and most effective options, so patients are given the greatest likelihood of improvement. Treatment intensity can either be “stepped up” or “stepped down” based on the level of patient distress or need.

How it helps clients 
• 67% rated the quality of e-mental health tools as “good” or “excellent.”
• 79% reported that e-mental health tools met at least some of their needs.
• 62% said the e-mental health programs helped them deal with their problems.
Before Stepped Care 2.0, “it was like waiting to get access to a backhoe when all you need is a shovel.” — Person with lived experience

How it helps health care providers 
• the project gave them significantly more comfort and familiarity with e-mental health.
• they saw Stepped Care 2.0 as evidence-based and effective in helping their practices evolve.
• they reported much greater knowledge of the stages of change and self-efficacy to enact it.

“The biggest difference with the walk-ins, single session, and e-mental health is that I have more time and flexibility. Clients come in or book a time with me when they want service [which] opens up my schedule.” — Provider

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