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The 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 human welfare.


Annoucement from Workers Compensation Board:

New Provincial Psychological Injury Policy

On March 25, 2014 the WCB Board of Directors approved a new psychological injury Policy. After considering input from stakeholders, the WCB Board of Directors made a number of changes to the draft policy

Please see Appendix B of the attached paper entitled Psychological Injuries: Final Program Policy Decision and Supporting Rationale for the new program policy. This new policy does not change how claims are adjudicated today; rather it puts current practice into policy to ensure clear and consistent adjudication of psychological injury claims.

The WCB Board of Directors made the decision not to make any changes to the GECA policy at this time.

The document is available for download here


 

CPA important announcement on access to psycholgoical services

The Canadian Psychological Association's (CPA) advocacy efforts to enhance access to psychological services pay off for hundreds of thousands of Canadians!  Treasury Board President, the Honourable Tony Clement, announced that as of October 1st, 2014, federal workers and retirees will see their extended health insurance coverage for psychological services double from $1,000 to $2,000 annually.  Click here or here to view CPA's press release


 

IMPORTANT NEWS for APNS members:

CPA announces a new broker and an improved program for member liability insurance

For more information vist APNS' member site

 


Mind Your Mental Health  (more)

The Canadian Psychological Association launches a national awareness campaign in honour of Psychology Month. See media release here

Visit www.MYMH.ca


 

Older Posts:

 


Mind Your Mental Health

The Canadian Psychological Association launches a national awareness campaign in honour of Psychology Month. See full media release here

In honour of Psychology Month, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and representatives from the provincial and territorial associations of psychology joined forces to highlight the need to enhance access to mental health services across Canada through the launch of the national Mind Your Mental Health Campaign.


The campaign aims to help increase awareness among the public about psychological topics and disorders and how to prevent, manage and treat them. The campaign also encourages psychologists, the public, and other stakeholders, to write their provincial and territorial governments to let them know that Canadians need better access to treatments provided by psychologists, in the public health care system.

Participate in the campaign by visiting www.MYMH.ca by submitting the sample letter to your local parliamentarian.

You can also watch the action of the campaign all month long by visiting
www.twitter.com/@MYMH_CAN and

https://www.facebook.com/mindyourmentalhealth

 


 

Notice (January 2014):

For those Psychologists who work with (or want to work with) Workers Compensation Bureau of Nova Scotia

The WCB has a new contract for Psychologists with new rates and reporting requirements.  The WCB cannot pay these new rates until we have received the signed contract. 

For all information related to the new contract, please contact Cheryl Gillette, Coordinator, Service Provider Management at cheryl.gillette@wcb.gov.ns.ca .


Stats Can Report

Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health, 2012, September 18, 2013


The Nova Scotia election campaign:       

APNS Request 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.

1. 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.

2. 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 model.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Note: APNS would like to thank the Canadian Psychological Association (www.cpa.ca) for their financial, policy and logistical support of this project.

 


Important 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 further guidance.

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 procedures.


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:

http://www.cpa.ca/docs/file/Government%20Relations/Finance%20Committee_HST_April-29-2013.pdf

 


Latest on PHIA

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.

 


 

COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF NOVA SCOTIA RECOGNIZED FOR WORKPLACE PRACTICES

Receives Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award and Best Practices Honor
from American Psychological Association

Halifax, Nova 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 award.

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.

CPSNS's psychologically 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 from colleagues.

“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 success.” 

APA's Psychologically 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

 

Canadians 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 experience the

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 life.

“Psychological services 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.

      


APNS Meeting and Presentation to the Mental Health Strategy Advisory Committee

On March 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 document here.

The Mental 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. 

Those 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.

Consultations are now closed. More info soon...

To access the Online Consultation, or more information regarding the development of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, please visit:

www.nshrf.ca/mentalhealthandaddictionsstrategy

In addition to the service provider consultations, the Advisory Committee will be holding public consultations across the province. See the above website for more informaiton.


Tackling Mental Health Issues Results in Improved Physical Health

It's 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.

 

“Amid 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.

 

Taking 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 services.

 

Research 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).

 

A 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.

 

Psychologists 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

 

 


Nova Scotia Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)

*Update:

Please 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.

                                  ...............................

APNS 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 of psychology.

 

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. 

Read the most recent available version of the Act here

APNS 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 apns@apns.ca.

Please 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.

  

                                  ****************

 

Thanks 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.

•  Suellen 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.

•  Elizabeth 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.

 

•  David 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.

•  Psychologist 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.

•  Dr. 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 discipline.

Subsequent 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.

APNS also plans to take the following actions:

•  Post the link to the archived PHIA Forum for those who were unable to attend;

•  Gather information from psychology regulatory bodies and associations in other provinces to determine how they have handled the implementation of similar legislation in their jurisdictions;

•  Continue to follow-up with media and the Department of Health;

•  Create a place on our website with information on PHIA, as well as a method for collecting feedback.

 


last updated June 14, 2014

 

Read more about the Organization

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What's New?

 

APNS Memberships run from Sept to August. A membership form for renewal or new members is available here.


The 2013-2014 APNS Private Practice Directory will be available on August 15, 2013.



Looking for a Private Practice Psychologist?

Search our Private Practice Directory listings here.

 


JOB POSTINGS


Private Practice opportunities - Dartmouth, Halifax and Bridgewater


  


For more info on APNS or non-APNS events please visit our events pages

 


EVENTS

APNS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT


2014

Tentative:
October 24, 2014

School & Educational Assessment Tools

Prestned by Pearson Assessment

contact apns@apns.ca


NON-APNS EVENTS

 

Emotionally Focused Therapy
Four Day Externship
Oct 17-20, 2014

 

Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute Fall 2014 Workshops

October 16, 2014 to October 17, 2014

Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Strategies

Halifax – NS

November 13, 2014

Critical Incident Group Debriefing

Halifax – NS

November 14, 2014

De-escalating Potentially Violent Situations™

Halifax – NS  

December 11, 2014 to December 12, 2014

Mindfulness Counselling Strategies - Activating Compassion and Regulation

Halifax – NS

 



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