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. 2013 Jun;10(2):89-100.

Exploring Core Competencies for Mental Health and Addictions Work Within a Family Health Team Setting

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Free PMC article

Exploring Core Competencies for Mental Health and Addictions Work Within a Family Health Team Setting

Brian Rush et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Approximately 200 Family Health Teams (FHTs) have been implemented in Ontario to improve access to primary healthcare, including mental health and addiction. The objectives of this project were to examine, through a focus group and qualitative methodology with three FHTs, the profile of patients' mental health and addiction-related needs and to identify the implications for the development of core competencies in these innovative organisations. A spectrum of needs and service trajectories was identified, as well as the importance of a wide range of clinical skills and knowledge. The results indicate that 'core' competencies for mental health work in the context of an FHT go well beyond those required for an embedded mental health 'programme' or specialised mental health counsellors, but rather they relate to the core and discipline-specific competencies of members of the entire team. In addition to specific knowledge and skills, competencies include common attitudes and values relating to teamwork, good communication and collaboration. Challenges were noted with regard to working with some community service providers, especially addiction services. Implications for core competencies at the individual and organisational level were identified.

Keywords: addictions; collaborative care; core competencies; family health teams; mental health.

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