Integrating Mental Health Services into Primary Care: The Hamilton FHT Mental Health Program

  • Nick Kates

The Hamilton Family Health Team Mental Health Program (formerly the Hamilton HSO Mental Health Program) has integrated mental health services into the offices of family physicians across Hamilton, a community of 500,000 in southern Ontario, Canada, since 1994. Beginning with 45 family physicians, the program underwent two major expansions in 1996 and 2005 and now serves 148 family physicians in 80 different practices.

The success of the program over the last 13 years has been built on a combination of innovative and high-quality mental health services delivered in the offices of participating family physicians and a program-wide organizational framework that has coordinated these activities, This chapter describes the way the program functions and the key role a central organizational framework has played in establishing and maintaining a program that delivers services in multiple primary care settings.


Mental Health Primary Care Mental Health Service Family Physician Mental Health System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Health Canada Canada Health Act Overview. Available at:
  2. 2.
    Federal Provincial Territorial Committee on Health Services. The Victoria Report on Physician Remuneration and the Introduction of Population-Based Funding. Victoria BC Queens Printer for British Columbia; 1995.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Health Canada. Primary Health Care Transition Fund. Available at:
  4. 4.
    Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Family Health Teams. Available at:
  5. 5.
    Lesage A, Goering P, Lin E. Family physicians and the mental health system: a report from the mental health supplement to the Ontario health survey Canadian. Fam Physician. 1997;43:251–256.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick Kates
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural NeurosciencesHamilton Family Health TeamCanada

Personalised recommendations