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Psychiatry and Primary Care

This area focuses on improving partnerships between mental health and primary care providers to lead to better outcomes, a better experience of care for the consumer and a more efficient use of resources for individuals with mental health and addiction problems. It addresses three specific areas:

  • Expanding the (potential) role of primary care in delivering mental health care
  • Innovative models of linking mental health and primary care services 
  • Enhancing the care of individuals with mental health and addiction problems being seen in primary care


  • The development and evaluation of an integrated collaborative model of care (The Hamilton FHT)
  • Development of partnerships with community agencies including Public Health and local schools to improve access to mental health services 
  • The use of film and other media to improve access to mental health
  • Developing treatment pathways and innovative intervention for seniors in primary care with mild cognitive impairment

Application to Consumer

Family physicians deliver significant amounts of mental health care in most communities, although the majority of people with mental health and addiction problems receive no formal treatment over the course of a year. Integrating mental health services within primary care is an innovative and effective way for any health system to improve access, reduce waiting, use existing resources more efficiently and increase the skills and comfort of primary care providers in delivering care. This is reflected in many recent provincial and national planning documents which:

  • See primary care as the foundation of health care systems and integral to a high-performing healthcare system in any community.
  • See primary care an entry point into the mental health and addictions system
  • Acknowledge the potential key roles that primary care can play 
  • Promote the integration of mental health providers within primary care
  • Emphasise the importance of training guidelines for future practitioners

Other Faculty

  • Martin M. Antony, Ph.D.
    • cognitive behavior therapy, anxiety disorders and perfectionism
  • Carrie Bullard, R.N.
    • Family burden in anxiety disorders
  • Alan Eppel, MB, FRCPC
    • Attachment and anxiety disorders
  • Dee Gavric, Ph.D. (postdoctoral fellow)
    • Social anxiety disorder and post event processing
  • Brenda Key, Ph.D. 
    • Mindfulness based intervention for anxiety disorders
  • Randi McCabe, Ph.D. 
    • CBT interventions, anxiety disorders, treatment response
  • Colleen Merrifeld, Ph.D. (postdoctoral fellow)
    • Transdiagnostic behavior therapy, anxiety disorders, treatment response
  • Irena Milosevic, Ph.D.
    • safety behaviors in anxiety disorders, integrated treatment
  • Matilda Nowakowski, Ph.D. (postdoctoral fellow)
    • Gut microbiome and anxiety disorders
  • Karen Rowa, Ph.D.  
    • OCD, hoarding, social anxiety disorder
  • Noam Soreni, M.D., pediatric
    • OCD, hoarding in children and adolescents, neuroimaging
  • Richard Swinson, M.D.
    • assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders

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