Please read a letter written to The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, the Canadian Minister of Health, starting a dialogue about our nations system of psychological health care.
We are all too familiar with statistical data, that one out of five people will personally experience a psychological problem during their lifetime. Psychological illnesses have brought and will bring in the future even greater financial strain on the Government and Canadians at large.
The question we ask is how we can streamline the delivery of psychological services and decrease the cost?
A comparative look at the psychological health and the physical health industries uncovers an urgent need for measurable quantitative testing in order to bring the psychological health field into the 21st century.
Making the correct diagnosis and tailoring effective treatment to the individual’s needs are essential components of an overall psychological management plan. For most people in Canada, their primary care physician is their first and often only contact with the psychological care system. Under-diagnosis, misdiagnosis and under-treatment of psychological problems result in poor outcomes.
We all can agree that when we go for a yearly check up to the family doctor we expect some tests to be done depending on our age and health history, which might include blood pressure measurements, blood tests, possibly a cardiogram and others. But, when we have some particular health issues, there are numerous tests that can pinpoint specific areas of concern to help a doctor make a correct diagnosis and follow up with successful treatment.
Would you be surprised if your doctor, without performing any tests in spite of your symptoms, made a conclusion that you are healthy? Or, what if the doctor, without any complaint from you, made a conclusion that you are gravely ill and started prescribing some medicine or schedule of treatment for urgent intervention. You probably would be shocked and you would look for a second opinion before starting the treatment prescribed.
What about psychological problems and issues?
Shouldn’t we expect the same approach when we have psychological problems, even such as poor appetite, bad sleeping patterns, continuous worries etc. Shouldn’t we expect to have a number of psychological tests to help medical and psychological practitioners to pinpoint or qualify psychological health issues and allow for follow up of successful treatment? Of course we should, but unfortunately such a unifying approach in psychological health is not in existence yet.
The bottom line is the health industry has ways of testing patients to determine an accurate course of treatment and has the tools to measure the effectiveness of treatment along the way. These tests also help the patient see their progress and keep them committed to the process.
Until today, the field of psychology did not have such testing.
Both patients and doctors rely on a patient’s personal opinion and communication and due to the complex nature of the disorders, we continue to have high rates of inaccurate diagnosis, treatment, prescription and disillusioned patients dropping out of treatments.
As the current primary health gatekeepers to the public system, physicians deal with a host of psychological conditions. According to some estimates, 60% of the conditions presented to primary care physicians are psychological, have a psychological component, or are highly influenced by psychological factors. In addition, although about 40% of high-end primary care users suffer from some form of depression, well over half of these individuals receive no treatment for their condition.
We are advocating that as a society, we should invest more in front-end psychological health services aimed at reducing the demand for psychological illness care services at the back end. As the first line of contact, primary psychological care units with the testing expertise and coordinating capacity to refer individuals quickly and effectively, rather than GP or acute care hospitals, should be the central focus of the psychological health care system.
Canadian company Northam Psychotechnologies is at the forefront for development of quantitative, non-invasive psychological testing, which can become the backbone of primary psychological care units.
We are using a proven set of subconscious mind testing technologies that revolutionize the quality of services and results in the field of psychological health. These technologies decrease the cost and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of psychological help.
We demonstrated the effectiveness of this new approach and we are currently requesting you and the departments under your leadership to become the champions of the 21st century approach to psychological health and wellness in Canada.
Dr. S. Ioffe, CEO