This roundtable session will begin a dialogue about the barriers and facilitators of integrating social work in primary health care settings. Presenters will focus particular attention on social work's scope of practice in mental health care, emphasizing common mental disorders like depression and anxiety. For example, one presenter will lead the dialogue highlighting key elements found in the literature that outline social work's scope of practice in primary mental health care. A second presenter will review challenges experienced by social workers in the provision of quality mental health care including: difficulties meeting high service demands, access, preparedness, professional isolation, intersectoral collaboration, and demonstrating value with existing performance indicators. Presenters will then lead a discussion to brainstorm how social work can mobilize to help foster better integration into primary health care settings, and be better equipped to respond to the demands of mental health care.
The intention of the roundtable dialogue is to generate a more robust understanding of the scope of practice and challenges social workers encounter in primary mental health care. Further, this roundtable aims to help foster a network of social workers engaged in primary health care scholarship and research.