The Parti libéral du Québec — the official opposition party in the province — is asking the Legault government to make psychotherapy a bigger part of universal public health coverage so Quebecers can access help more quickly.

On October 8, the PLQ proposed a program that would pay for up to 15 sessions with a psychologist or psychotherapist, covering "a broad spectrum of mental disorders in children and adults."

The proposal comes on the heels of a new report that found one in four Montrealers had developed symptoms of "pandemic-induced" anxiety and depression

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Acting in mental health is not a luxury, Mr. Legault. It is a priority.

Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Parti libéral du Québec

In a press release, the PLQ said this proposal would "put an end to this two-tier mental health system," and estimated the cost at $300 million annually.

In a press conference on October 8 at the National Assembly of Quebec, Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Parti libéral du Québec, also touched on the additional mental burden faced by marginalized groups, such as Indigenous communities.

Though some mental health services are already covered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), Anglade said it's not enough. 

She said the current system causes bottlenecks because patients must see their family doctor before being referred to a psychologist.

Her plan, she clarified, would allow patients to go directly to a mental health professional and be reimbursed. 

The wait for a psychologist in the public sector can be six to 24 months, she said.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only and was not from the press conference discussed.

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