The following emerged from the roundtable as clear principles for future action on e-Mental health:
- Investing in e-Mental health is essential as it represents a way of addressing some of the Canadian health care system’s biggest issues, including long waits to see mental health practitioners.
- Clinicians must be onboard as designers, champions and users of e-Mental health solutions.
- A new funding model is needed to support e-Mental health. Current models are not set up to pay clinicians to offer remote treatment for patients at home and postdischarge support.
- The technology is out there. The challenge is determining which solutions work and then scaling them across the health care system.
- Scalability is key. Planning must include a roadmap for taking a project from the pilot stage to full-blown implementation.
- Sustainability is hard, but essential. Getting started with e-Mental health innovations is often easier than sustaining them over the long term, yet that sustainability is vital to their success.
- Privacy and security concerns must be addressed for system-wide e-Mental health to be viable.
- Standards and best practices must be developed so solutions can be assessed, practices chosen and outcomes measured.
- We need to think about vulnerable populations. People living in poverty, for instance, may not be reachable by e-Mental health.
- Everyone needs to be involved to resolve barriers to e-Mental health — clinicians, not-for-profit organizations, medical schools, regulatory bodies, and federal and provincial/territorial governments all need to be engaged to push forward e-Mental health strategies.