W12 – Integrating Physical & Mental Health: How Can We Do This Better?

W12 – Integrating Physical & Mental Health: How Can We Do This Better?

Thursday, Oct. 27
14:30 – 15:30 (1 hr)
Meeting Room: Cedar (Mezzanine)
Susan Abbey*, MD, FRCPC; Matthew Kelsey, MHSc, PMP; Sabrina Yacoub, MSW, RSW; Aideen Carroll, RN, BScN, CPMHN (C)

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Medical Expert
  2. Collaborator

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Describe the development of mental health services for people with medical disease(s); 2) List ways in which mental health services for medically ill people should be modified to support adolescents and young adults; and 3) Describe how mental health nurses may be upskilled with regards to physical health nursing care.

The mental health system is increasingly called on to care for patients with both physical and mental health comorbidities. Tight funding makes it difficult to develop innovations that could enhance care at the interface of medicine and psychiatry. This workshop is designed to be an innovation incubator by briefly sharing three innovation approaches transferable to other settings. Short eight-minute presentations will describe the most salient issues that clinicians who are advocating to advance care in this space need to consider. The remaining time will allow attendees to “workshop” these ideas and consider how they might be modified for their local context. The session “Considerations in Developing Mental Health Services to Support People with Medical Disease: Disease Specific vs. Generic” will compare lessons learned from developing these two types of services and help participants consider how these lessons apply in their own environments. The topic Transitional Aged Youth: Linking Physical and Mental Health will be presented. What do transitional-aged youth need that is different from what we typically offer? How do we develop programming that meets their needs? Who can we most effectively partner with in the community? The main outcomes of quantitative and qualitative research with this diverse group will be highlighted. The topic Empowering Nurses to Optimize the Intersection of Physical and Mental Health Care will be discussed to determine how we can best educate nurses to build skills in this area.


  1. McGinty EE, Presskreischer R, Breslau J, et al. Improving physical health among people with serious mental illness: the role of the specialty mental health sector. Psychiatr Serv 2021;72:1302–10.
  2. Floyd P. Integrating physical and behavioral health: a major step toward population health management. Healthc Financ Manage 2016;70(1):64–71.