OPA Psychotherapy Initiative
In 2019, a government proposal was put forward to restrict the number of OHIP-covered psychotherapy sessions to 24 per year, regardless of the diagnosis or the treatment prescribed by doctors.
Limiting the number of psychotherapy sessions/dose of treatment without basing it on patient need or evidence poses multiple risks of: under-treatment, worsening symptoms, disability, stigma, and ultimately, higher health care costs.
Following powerful community advocacy, including that from professional organizations such as the OPA, an agreement ratified in 2022 achieved ongoing unrestricted OHIP-covered psychotherapy provided by physicians until at least March 31, 2024.
Below are resources to help you understand our advocacy journey.
- Drs. Renata M. Villela, Jordan Bawks, Heather Weir, Doug Weir, Angela O. Ho, Diana Kljenak, Yusra Ahmad, Shabbir Amanullah, Kenneth Fung, & Lyndal Petit's Letter to Editor of The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry on the importance of supporting robust psychotherapy training (April 2023)
- Mark Towhey's Newstalk 1010 show featuring Dr. Renata M. Villela discussing unrestricted OHIP-covered psychotherapy being available until at least 2024 (May 2022 - segment run time of approximately 30:43-39:26)
- Dr. Joanna Cheek's Toronto Star article about psychotherapy access featuring Dr. Renata M. Villela (March 2022)
- Drs. Conrad Sichler, Chase McMurren, & Arieg Badawi's opinion article in the National Post as featured by MSN (June 2021)
- Dr. Renata M. Villela's blog for the Ontario Medical Association (July 2020)
- Dr. Renata M. Villela's article for the Royal College Newsroom (April 2020)
- Community letters to the editor of The Globe and Mail (January 2020)
- Psychotherapy Saves videos (November 2019 onwards)
- Dr. Wei-Yi Song's opinion article in the Toronto Star (July 2019)
- Dr. Javeed Sukhera's interview in The London Free Press (April 2019)
- Dr. Norman Doidge's opinion article in The Globe and Mail (April 2019)
- Saving OHIP Psychotherapy Web site (2019 onwards)
- Ontario Medical Association Committee to Preserve Publicly-Funded, Physician-Delivered Psychotherapy:
a) synopsis (2019)
b) brief literature summary (2019)
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Concept Videos
- Drs. Renata M. Villela & Susan G. Lazar's follow-up article in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice (March 2021)
- Drs. Renata M. Villela & Eric M. Plakun's article in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice (November 2019)
- Dr. Renata M. Villela's article in Psychiatric News (April 2019)
- Coalition for Psychotherapy Parity's Clinical Necessity Guidelines for Psychotherapy (May 2018)
- Coalition for Psychotherapy Parity Web site (2018 onwards)
Dr. Renata M. Villela, MD, FRCPC
Psychotherapy Initiative Lead
Ontario Psychiatric Association