Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia is a voluntary professional
organization established in 1965 to represent psychology in Nova
Scotia. APNS is the only provincial association devoted to representing
the needs of psychology professionals in the province. APNS promotes
psychology as a profession, as a science, and as a means of promoting
Mental Health, 2012, September
Community Health Survey: Mental Health, 2012, September 18, 2013
Nova Scotia election campaign:
to the Candidates
With the Nova Scotia provincial
election campaign in full swing, APNS is in the process of approaching
the candidates with our key messages. We encourage you to bring
up these issues with your candidate. Also watch for our election
website going live in the next few days where you can send a letter
to you candidate.
The solutions outlined
below build on the existing action plan items already being implemented
through Nova Scotia's Mental Health and Addiction Strategy.
Include Psychologists in mental health teams in primary care
The statistics nationally
are that up to 70% of problems brought to a physician are for mental
health issues or have a mental health component. While there is
some awareness about the benefits of evidence-based psychological
interventions, there continues to be a severe gap in the ability
of patients to receive the appropriate care and as a result, the
burden of mental health care surpasses the public health expenditure
nationally. Placing Psychologists in primary care would afford Nova
Scotians presenting with mental health problems with direct access
to the appropriate experts, potentially preventing problems from
worsening, and saving the health care system money.
Expand and create better access to Psychological Services in Schools
by employing Psychologists within the Schoolplus program
The Mental Health Commission states
that up to 50% of adult mental and behavioral health problems begin
before age 14 and 70% before age 24. Early intervention and treatment
can make a dramatic difference in young peoples' quality of life
and future productivity, and consequently can increase cost savings
over the life span. The vision for SchoolsPlus is that schools become
a convenient place for government and other services to be delivered
to families , however, there are currently no Psychologists working
within the SchoolPlus program. This is an issue because Psychologists
are the only mental health professionals who have the training to
properly assess cognitive functioning and overall developmental
status using standardized tools that are based on a developmental
Psychologists to be included in emergency department assessments
The government of Nova
Scotia develop a pilot project in several hospitals across the province
to provide psychological emergency assessment and brief intervention
services in emergency rooms to patients with undiagnosed medical
conditions (UMC). Patients with UMCs present with physical symptoms
that, after extensive diagnostic investigations, are found to not
have a physical illness. They often suffer from a psychological
problem or disorder that manifests itself with physical symptoms.
The goal is to provide more appropriate services for these patients
and to reduce the load on emergency services in hospitals. Psychologists
have the authority to diagnose and the extensive training and skills
to quickly assess the patients' needs, reduce their anxiety, and
to suggest alternate and more appropriate services.
Developmental assessment and screening of all young children
Early screening for developmental
issues in young children is necessary, especially given the amount
of growth that occurs in the brain during the first few years of
life. Psychologists have the training and experience to accurately
diagnose developmental problems that begin the early years, such
as learning disabilities and autism. As part of the governments'
Mental Health and Addictions Strategy action
plan of developing access to screening for all children under the
age of 18 months, Psychologists should be a part of the team that
completes the assessments. Psychologists are the only mental health
professionals who have the training to properly assess cognitive
functioning and overall developmental status using standardized
tools that are based on a developmental model.
would like to thank the Canadian Psychological Association (www.cpa.ca)
for their financial, policy and logistical support of this project.
information on GST/HST Measure in 2013 Federal Budget
On March 21, 2013, Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty tabled his eighth Federal budget entitled
Economic Action Plan: A plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
The budget makes changes to the GST/HST on reports and services
for non-health care purposes. This measure will apply to supplies
made after Budget Day (March 21, 2013). CPA has requested a review
of the new taxing rules by KPMG to determine the impact this may
have those of our members who provide services to the public, and
will circulate the results of the report as soon as possible. We
also encourage you to contact your personal tax consultant and Canada
Revenue Agency (CRA) to ensure that you are in compliance with the
new tax measures. CPA has been in contact with senior officials
within CRA responsible for HST/GST rulings. CRA is currently working
on a memo/Q&A that will be issued in the next few weeks to provide
GST/HST on Reports
and Services for Non-Health Care Purposes
Under the GST/HST, services that are provided solely for non-health
care purposes, even if supplied by health care professionals, are
not considered to be basic health care and are not intended to be
eligible for the exemption. For instance, the GST/HST legislation
specifies that GST/HST applies to all supplies of purely cosmetic
To address court decisions that have expanded the scope of the exemption
beyond the policy intent to limit the GST/HST exemption to basic
health care services, Budget 2013 proposes to clarify that GST/HST
applies to reports, examinations and other services that are not
performed for the purpose of the protection, maintenance or restoration
of the health of a person or for palliative care. For example, taxable
supplies would include reports, examinations and other services
performed solely for the purpose of determining liability in a court
proceeding or under an insurance policy.
Supplies of property and services in respect of a taxable report,
examination or other service would also be taxable. For example,
charges for an x-ray or lab test in relation to a taxable examination
would also be taxable.
A report, examination or other service will continue to be exempt
if it is performed for use in the protection, maintenance or restoration
of the health of a person or use in palliative care. As well, reports,
examinations or other services paid for by a provincial or territorial
health insurance plan will continue to be exempt.
This measure will apply to supplies made after Budget Day.
Please also see:
the Statement on GST
/ HST Measure in 2013 Federal Budget on the Canadian Register of
Health Service Psychologists (CRHSP) website
The Canadian Psychological
Association (CPA) information posting: http://www.cpa.ca/docs/File/Practice/GST_HST-final_2013.pdf
Also see this document
from the CPA website:
The Nova Scotia
Personal Health information Act (PHIA) is due to come into force
on June 1, 2013. For more information on PHIA visit the NS Dept
of Health & Wellness website.
Also view presentation on PHIA given at
recent APNS workshop.
OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF NOVA SCOTIA RECOGNIZED FOR WORKPLACE
Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award and Best Practices Honor
from American Psychological Association
Scotia [March 9, 2012] — In recognition
of its workplace practices promoting employee well-being and organizational
performance, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia
received the American Psychological Association's (APA) 2012 Psychologically
Healthy Workplace Award (PHWA) at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
on March 10. One of five employers from across North America to
receive the award this year, the organization won in the not-for-profit
category. The organization is a previous winner of the Association
of Psychologists of Nova Scotia's provincial-level Psychologically
Healthy Workplace Award, qualifying it to be nominated for the APA
The College of Physicians
and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS) excelled in its efforts to foster
employee involvement, health and safety, employee growth and development,
work-life balance and employee recognition. The organization's healthy
workplace program, educational opportunities and feedback efforts
are several examples of the workplace practices that helped it to
earn a 2012 award. APA also recognized CPSNS as a Best Practices
honoree for its dedicated steering committee that works to develop
and implement the organization's healthy workplace program.
healthy workplace practices have reaped rewards for both the organization
and its employees. Average employee tenure is nearly 10 years, and
turnover in 2011 was a low 11.5 percent. Last year, employees responding
to an engagement and satisfaction survey unanimously rated CPSNS
as either an excellent or good place to work and said they would
recommend the organization to others seeking employment.
All employees have an
active role as members of the CPSNS Quality Council, the primary
venue for discussing healthy workplace issues and developing action
plans. Programs that advance fitness and well-being include a generous
wellness allowance, healthful meals offered during meetings, an
Employee Assistance Program and a smoking-cessation program with
a financial incentive. CPSNS offers a variety of in-house classes
and workshops ranging from team-building, goal-setting and customer
service to nutrition, yoga, first aid and monthly lunchtime learning
sessions. Employees say they feel valued and recognized for their
work, and report low levels of stress and a high degree of support
“The business world is
in the midst of a sea change,” says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA,
head of APA's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program. “Successful
organizations have learned that high performance and sustainable
results require attention to the relationships among employee, organization,
customer and community. Forward-thinking employers such as the College
of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia are taking steps to create
an organizational culture that promotes both well-being and business
Healthy Workplace Awards are designed to showcase the very best
from among the award winners recognized by APA's affiliated state,
provincial and territorial psychological associations. Nominees
are evaluated on their workplace practices in the areas of employee
involvement, health and safety, employee growth and development,
work-life balance and employee recognition. Awards are given to
for-profit and not-for-profit organizations as well as government,
military and educational institutions.
More information about
APA's PHWA winners and Best Practices honorees is available at www.phwa.org/media
. Organizations interested in learning more about creating a
psychologically healthy workplace or applying for an award in their
state, province or territory can visit www.phwa.org
February 6, 2012
Need Better Access to Psychological Services
Ottawa: Today in honour
of Psychology Month, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA),
the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) and the Canadian Psychological
Association (CPA) joined
forces to highlight the need to enhance access to mental health
services in Canada.
Mental disorders are a
leading cause of disability in Canada and represent a significant
burden on the economy. It estimated to cost the Canadian economy
$51-billion annually. Psychologists are the largest group of regulated
and specialized mental health care providers in Canada. Yet
Canadians, in particular
those in lower and middle income levels, face significant barriers
when it comes to accessing psychological services due to their cost.
“The services of psychologists
are not funded by provincial health insurance plans which make them
inaccessible to Canadians with modest incomes or no insurance said
Peter Coleridge, National Chief Executive Officer, of the CMHA.
This is in spite of the fact that some of the most effective treatments
for common mental disorders depression and anxiety are psychological
ones like Cognitive behaviour therapy.
The U.K. has invested
400 million pounds over four years to make psychological therapies
more accessible, and Australia has also enhanced access to psychologists
through its publicly funded health insurance plans adds Coleridge.
“Canada must do the same.
“It is vitally important
that we look to the needs of the community when it comes to mental
disorders and health promotion and that we respond to those in ways
that are effective said Dave Gallson, Associate National Executive
Director of MDSC. “Our research has found that the lack of insured
services prevents a majority of individuals with mental illnesses
from seeking the support they need.
Next week the Government
of Manitoba is hosting a mental health summit with a focus on children
and youth. Seventy percent of adults living with a mental disorders
causes or onset of their
disorders before age 18. Early intervention can make a dramatic
difference in the course of a disorder and, ultimately in a person's
are proven effective in helping Canadians to manage and overcome
psychological problems and disorders, added Dr Karen Cohen, Chief
Executive Officer of the Canadian Psychological Association. “Canada's
private health care insurance plans and publicly funded programs
don't do enough to ensure Canadians have equal and adequate access
to needed psychological service. Canada's governments and employers
must do more to ensure all
Canadians regardless of income
� can access the psychological care they need.
Meeting and Presentation to the Mental Health Strategy Advisory
17th the APNS Executive met with the Mental Health Strategy team
to discuss implications for psychologists and to present their recommendations
for issues that must be addressed by the Strategy. Download the
Health Strategy Advisory Committee will be holding service provider
consultations throughout April. These consultation sessions are
happening across the province and are open to mental health and
addictions service providers. The service provider consultations
are intended to provide a forum for individuals who provide services
to mental health and/or addictions clients/patients/consumers.
attending will have the opportunity to provide input into the development
of the Strategy, hear what others across Nova Scotia have said,
and build on their points.
are now closed. More info soon...
the Online Consultation, or more information regarding the development
of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, please visit:
to the service provider consultations, the Advisory Committee will
be holding public consultations across the province. See the above
website for more informaiton.
Mental Health Issues Results in Improved Physical Health
mid-February, mid-winter and mid-flu season in Nova Scotia with
no holidays in sight. Some are lucky enough to go south and others
are hoping the Canada Winter Games will raise our spirits, but many
are badly in need of a few “mental health days. That is one reason
for designating February as Psychology Month. It's a time to remember
that mental health has a huge effect on physical wellness. Stress
and depression are just two of the issues that may be dragging down
physical health. If so, it may be time to talk to a psychologist.
all the talk of cutbacks for education and health, it is a positive
sign that government, corporations and the public are beginning
to realize that integrating mental health strategies into primary
healthcare can improve the health of Nova Scotians, says Dean Perry,
Public Education Coordinator for the Association of Psychologists
of Nova Scotia. “When psychologists work together as a team with
physicians, nurses and other professionals, not only can it point
to the role that psychological factors play in physical illness,
but can identify the first signs of mental health issues.
the team approach can also signify a cost saving to the health care
system. It eases the pressure on family physicians, making more
room in their schedules to see more patients, thus providing access
to more people. Studies have found that patients decrease their
use of medical and hospital services when provided with psychological
suggests that the average savings to the health care system attributable
to the addition of outpatient psychotherapy services is about 20%,
that is, every $1 spent on psychological services, yields a savings
of $5 in medical costs. This figure does not include the gains to
the patient's quality of life or to employers and the economy as
a result of reduced absenteeism, lowered frequency of workplace
accidents or reduction in disability payouts (Chiles et al.,
1999) . Furthermore, a review of 35 studies on psychotherapy
and its cost implications showed that, in 90% of published studies,
the therapy cost was more than offset by other system savings (Gabbard
et al. 1997).
psychologist has the skills and professional training to help people
learn to manage stress, alleviate depression and cope more effectively
with life problems, using techniques based on best practice research
clinical skill and experience. Psychologists take into account an
individual's unique values, goals and circumstances.
can play a key role in promoting and maintaining the health of Nova
Scotians. For more information on how a psychologist can help, contact
the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia. www.apns.ca
Scotia Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)
note that APNS reps are meeting with provincial authorities regarding
roll-out and regulations surrounding the PHIA to attempt to address
concerns of the profession.
hosted the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) Forum
on Nov 18th. APNS urged its members to attend as we have concerns
that PHIA will impact our clients in profound ways. Based on the
information we have collected, APNS believes that PHIA may lower
the minimum standard of consent for the sharing of health records
across a wide domain of health providers and open the door to numerous
potential negative implications for our clients and the practice
APNS' submission (as well
as others) to the Law Amendments Committee on the Act and
status is available here.
Next to "Law Amendments Committee", click on "Print
Submissions". Click on "download all
written submissions for this bill". Within that, scroll
down till you come to the "change sheet" which lists all
the changes that were accepted by the Law Amendments Committee.
the most recent available version of the Act here
would welcome your input on PHIA as it is being implemented. If
you wish to express your opinion or concern, provide information,
or relate a personal experience about PHIA please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
see a summary of the Fourm below. To allow those who could not attend
a way of viewing the Forum proceedings, please follow this link.
to all who attended or logged-in to the Personal Health Information
Act (PHIA) Forum on November 18, 2010. The event had a good turnout
and achieved APNS' goal to raise awareness of PHIA as well as our
concerns about how this may affect client/patient confidentiality.
Approximately 70 individuals attended the forum, either in person
or remotely by logging-in online. Five panellists presented on PHIA
and the forum was moderated by psychologist, Dr. Richard MacGillivray.
Murray, Project Manager, Health Information Legislation Project,
N.S. Dept. of Health provided background information on
the development of PHIA and an Electronic Health Record and explained
a bit about the legal context. Similar legislation has been enacted
in other provinces.
Iwaskow, NS SHARE/EHR Portfolio Manager, Senior Project Manager
e-Health, N.S. Dept. of Health , spoke
about the development and workings of SHARE, an electronic data
base for health information. She explained that there will be different
levels of access for different types of health care providers.
Ms. Iwaskow and Ms. Murray
discussed the concept of a “lock box,� a measure of protection
that would allow patients/clients to prevent certain individuals
from accessing their health information. However, they conceded
that this may be difficult to enact in practice. According to Ms.
Murray, “custodians� of health records can make decisions
about the use and dissemination of information. Unfortunately however,
Psychologists working in the public sector and covered by PHIA will
not be considered “custodians� and therefore will not have
the ability to make such decisions.
Fraser, partner, McInnes Cooper, encouraged Psychologists
to maintain high levels of confidentiality. He noted that Psychologists
could apply higher standards of confidentiality than called for
by this legislation.
Dr. Myles Genest, Genest Psychological Services Inc. summarized
pertinent sections of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists
and addressed the conflict between these and the PHIA.
John Service, Director of the Practice Directorate, Canadian Psychological
Association, reported on the national agenda for Psychology
and reframed this as an opportunity for positive change within the
to the Forum, the APNS Executive discussed strategies as to how
APNS might proceed to monitor PHIA as it is implemented and to continue
to make its concerns felt. PHIA has passed 2nd reading in the Legislature
and we expect it will be enacted soon. The Law Amendments Committee
has now met to discuss PHIA and APNS took advantage of this opportunity
to submit a written brief of our concerns.
also plans to take the following actions:
link to the archived PHIA Forum for those who were unable to attend;
from psychology regulatory bodies and associations in other provinces
to determine how they have handled the implementation of similar
legislation in their jurisdictions;
to follow-up with media and the Department of Health;
place on our website with information on PHIA, as well as a method
for collecting feedback.
updated June 14, 2014