REDUCE WAIT TIMES FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONSThe Wait-List Clinic at Canadian Mental Health Association London Middlesex


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  • Provide counselling to 20 clients waiting for mental health services
  • Train 4-6 student volunteers in basic counselling skills
  • Demonstrate project feasibility and secure on-going funding


Every Canadian knows someone who has, or will be affected by, mental health conditions. What would you do if a loved one needed help, but the wait for mental health service was 6 to 9 months long? Our project can help reduce the distress associated with waiting. Individuals currently waiting up to 9 months for mental health services will be seen by volunteer student trainees at no cost, with live supervision provided by a clinical psychologist. This will reduce their suffering and isolation, improve functioning, and help them feel better. It will also reduce the number of people who will simply turn away from services rather than waiting for them. $25,000 will provide financial support to run the clinic for 1 night per week for six months: support 20 clients and train 4-6 students. Feedback will also be provided to the service for which they are waiting about wait-listed clients’ progress to the service, resulting in more efficient use of currently available resources.

Community Benefit

Using trained student volunteers, people will receive more timely mental health service, reducing isolation and distress more quickly. People will be less likely to reject services, or utilize less appropriate services, rather than waiting for services. Providing service when people first request it may reduce how much service they require, allowing programs to serve more people. Feedback from the clinic to CMHA-LM will improve efficiency, as the program will be aware of clients’ progress while they are awaiting service. The project will help students from a variety of programs increase their comfort and skills in interacting with people with identified mental health conditions and more comfortable in cooperating with each other. Training and experience will make students more aware of community mental health needs/services, help improve mental health awareness/sensitivity, and improve the quality of services that individuals with mental health needs receive in the future.

How will the $25K be used?

Budget Notes: CMHA-LM will provide office/meeting space, administrative assistance, computer/IT access, and funding for a Clinical Psychology Resident. Students and steering committee members are unpaid volunteers. Psychologists will provide supervision at half of their billable rate.
$ 13,600 Payment for supervising psychologist (at 50% of billable rate)
$ 1,000 Development, planning and steering committee meetings
$ 3,000 Training and evaluation materials
$ 3,000 Assessment and counselling materials, supplies
$ 3,000 Video cameras/ infrastructure (sessions recorded for supervision)
$ 1,400 Project evaluation, sharing results with community

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