Quebec Program for Mental Disorders (PQPTM)

The Quebec Program for Mental Disorders (PQPTM) is one component in an integrated vision of access to mental health services and the step-by-step organization of care. Its goal is to improve access, to diversify the public offer of mental health services—with special attention to the quality, equity and the timeliness of care—and to improve clinical programming.

The program focuses on a range of services, including self-care, groups, therapeutic interventions (psychological education, support, rehabilitation), and psychotherapy. It allows any person with mental health needs to gain access to specific services that have been adapted to their condition and are being offered by a multidisciplinary team. These services will be based on objective measures (validated questionnaires) and clinical practice guidelines that support the clinical judgment of professionals. They will be harmonized with existing service trajectories, which will be enhanced. The PQPTM aims to have the right service delivered at the right time by the right person.

The PQPTM has three fundamental principles, or pillars:

  • An evidence-based group of services and step-by-step care
  • Continuous clinical monitoring
  • Providers who have received clinical training and support

Key services

In addition to the  current programs, other services may be suggested to you.

 Self-care is easily accessible and is considered to be effective when it is offered at the right time, in an appropriate and optimal manner. It aims to enhance a person's knowledge, tools and skills at coping with difficulties, while enabling that person to take a proactive role in improving the quality of their life and mental health. Someone who accepts self-care might be followed and supported by a professional, depending on the person’s needs. It can also be used in a therapeutic group setting. However, before embarking on self-care, potential users are urged to seek advice from a qualified professional. Self-care is known for providing:

  • Information about the symptoms or disorder that an individual is experiencing
  • Suggestions about activities to become involved in
  • Lifestyle advice
  • and much more

In addition to self-care, the PQPTM provides a framework for services that are offered to people who often experience mental disorders and who are recommended to have their needs assessed. Various needs can be met by several of these services, including:

  • Support meeting
  • Supportive intervention
  • Marital and family intervention
  • Psychological education
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical follow-up
  • Coaching
  • Mental disorder assessment

Psychotherapy is a specialized type of psychological treatment of an individual. It is appropriate in certain circumstances at certain times in the trajectory of care, and it is often preceded by less specialized interventions. According to the Ordre des psychologues du Québec, psychotherapy aims to bring about changes in a person's attitudes, behaviour or ways of thinking or reacting, in order to allow him or her to feel better, find answers to questions, solve problems, make choices and better understand himself or herself.

Eligibility and cost

The PQPTM, a Quebec-wide program, is intended for adults, children and teenagers who have symptoms of or who have a common mental disorder—for example, an anxiety disorder or depression.

All Quebec citizens who are insured by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) and who receive services in the health and social services network have free access to the PQPTM.


The PQPTM enhances the trajectory of services through the use of step-by-step care: Any person who has a mental health disorder will receive the least intrusive treatment possible that has been shown to be effective. The services that are offered take into account the complexity of the clinical situation, the intensity and persistence of symptoms, any impairment in functioning (objective measures), responses to previous treatment, and the individual's preferences. The practice guidelines support the clinical judgment of the practitioner in proposing the treatment with the best probability of recovery.

The process consists of three main steps: a request for help, an analysis of the situation, and the delivery of treatment and services. The  PDF document contains a detailed overview of each step of the process.

Tools for healthcare users and their companions

The PQPTM distributes guides that provide users with an explanation of common mental disorders.

Anyone using mental health services will also have access to information to help them make informed decisions. These tools offer recommendations, but do not replace the clinical judgment of a professional. They cover such topics as:

  • The possibility of accepting or refusing a proposed treatment
  • The best time to consult a professional
  • Various available treatments
  • Possible medications
  • The duration of treatment

The guides for healthcare users also contain information that will be helpful to family and friends:

  • A list of support groups
  • Respite measures to avoid burnout
  • Information about the mental disorder in question
  • Advice on how to contribute to the success of the treatment and the recovery of the person who is receiving care

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