April 13, 2020
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
President of the Treasury Board Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Strategic Communications and Ministerial Affairs
90 Elgin Street, 8th Floor Ottawa, Canada K1A 0R5
Re: Social Workers - Mental Health Practitioners - Public Service Health Care Plan
Dear Mr. Duclos,
On behalf of the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) Board and federation partners, please accept this letter as a direct appeal that the temporary changes to include Registered Social Workers (RSW) as mental health practitioners within the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), for all its members, be made permanent.
In recognizing eligible RSWs as mental health practitioners within the PSHCP, the Government of Canada, PSHCP Partners Committee and the National Joint Council have affirmed the immense historical oversight of withholding access to professional mental health services by excluding RSWs from coverage for its members prior to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Social workers, regardless of immediate or potential risk, are currently working across all sectors to safely address immediate public health concerns and protection. We are also addressing the compounding mental, psychological and emotional consequences that our families, communities, and our nation are experiencing at this time of uncertainty.
As this crisis deepens, the health considerations of COVID-19 will be considerable. The compounding social consequences will have profound and ongoing repercussions on the PSHCP membership, social workers will be here to support the mental health recovery of PSHCP members and their families.
Thank you in advance for recognizing the importance of social work in the recovery of PSHCP members and our nation by announcing the permanent inclusion of RSWs as mental health practitioners within the PSHCP.
In health and recovery,
Jan Christianson-Wood, MSW, RSW President, CASW
cc. Sean Ross, General Secretary, National Joint Council
Elizabeth Shum, Secretary, National Joint Council