CBT Skills Provincial Spread Project

Mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability in Canada, yet also among the most underfunded health care services. A survey showed family physicians provide approximately 80 per cent of Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) care.

In 2015, a small group of physicians in Victoria came together to develop a group program to offer equitable, accessible, and timely evidence-based mental health treatments for early intervention on a large scale. The original curriculum drew on concepts of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), weaving in aspects of mindfulness, emotion regulation and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Supporting patients when their symptoms require only minimal intervention not only reduces downstream costs, but also empowers patients to self-manage their symptoms.

Shared Care and the Victoria Division of Family Practice supported this team to collaboratively build a curriculum targeting primary care patients that capitalized on physician facilitators. As communities around BC became interested in launching similar initiatives, the Shared Care Committee selected the program for provincial spread.

Read the BCMJ article on the CBT Skills Spread Initiative: Building a program to support doctor and patient mental health.

Provincial Physician Training

The aim of this spread project is to train physicians across the province who would like to:

(1)Learn these skills for their own person wellness and to support patients within their 1:1 clinical practice

(2)Participate in advanced training in CBT Skills to become a local facilitator and join their colleagues across the province to provide this service.

The CBT Skills Groups Society and the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Professional Development (UBC-CPD) program have partnered to provide this training with UBC-CPD administering the Physician Wellness Groups and the CBT Skills Groups Society providing advanced facilitator training. This project is set to end by March 31, 2025. The aim is to train 100 CBT Skills Group facilitators by the end of December 2024.

Are you interested to participate in a Physician Wellness Group?

All BC physicians are welcome to register for a UBC-CPD Physician Wellness Group. For family physicians who are interested in advanced facilitator training, you will be prompted to apply once you have completed a Physician Wellness Group

Are you interested to become a facilitator?

At this time we are only recruiting family physicians who reside and are members of the following Divisions:
  • Richmond
  • Northshore
  • Qathet
  • Abbotsford
  • Chilliwack
  • Mission
  • Burnaby
  • Fraser Northwest
  • Langley
  • White Rock-South Surrey & Surrey North Delta & Delta
  • Ridge Meadows
  • East Kootenay
  • Central Okanagan
  • South Okanagan Similkameen
  • Shuswap North Okanagan
  • Central Interior Rural
  • Thompson Region
  • Northern Interior Rural
  • Prince George
  • North Peace

If you are having difficulty registering for a Physician Wellness Group and your Division is listed above, please contact us at facilitators@cbtskills.ca


What makes spread possible?

Builds into what already exsists

Evaluation and quality improvement

Sustainability as a longitudinal process


Committed project champions

Diverse funding 


 Where CBT Skills Groups Fit In Our System

Provincial Quarterly Reports

Reichert & Associates, in partnership with the CBT Skills Groups Society and UBC-CPD, produces quarterly reports that outlines the project outcomes. If you have any questions about the evaluation of this initiative or these reports, please contact Lisa Demers

Learn More

If you are a physician who is interested to learn about how to refer or how to become a facilitator find out more HERE. If you are a mental health clinician/allied health provider and you are interested to learn more about our groups and the content covered, please preview the workbook. If you are administrative support for a mental health program within a Health Authority or Primary Care Network and you would like to create pathways for integrating patient care, please contact Christine Tomori .

Are you in crisis and need mental health support? Call 310-6789 for emotional support, information, and resources specific to mental health and substance use disorders.

Are you thinking about suicide or concerned about someone at risk? Call 1-800-784-2433.