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The "So, why?" Podcast with Stepped Care Solutions

The "So, why?" Podcast with Stepped Care Solutions

By Stepped Care Solutions

So, why are we excited about Stepped Care 2.0? This podcast explores issues and challenges as well as ideas and solutions leading to strengthening support for mental wellness and recovery. We will engage with a variety of speakers who come from different backgrounds and perspectives as we explore mental health and addictions and a variety of issues that impact systems, communities and individuals.

The views and opinions shared are those of the speakers and are not to be taken as medical advice and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Stepped Care Solutions.
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Shifting Mindsets in Italy with a Single Session Approach

The "So, why?" Podcast with Stepped Care SolutionsOct 20, 2023

Shifting Mindsets in Italy with a Single Session Approach

Shifting Mindsets in Italy with a Single Session Approach

The OAAT Series:

Single-session therapy (SST), sometimes called one-at-a-Time therapy, has been around for a while. It has been steadily gaining attention among providers and service delivery systems. SST can have tremendous impacts in different contexts, with proven waitlist reductions and positive outcomes for many people. It is based on the assumption that something helpful can happen in one interaction. 

The thing is, SST is an important approach because many people can only attend or want to attend one session. In fact, research shows the most common number of therapy sessions attended is one session. If a person will only engage once and may never come back for another session, it becomes really important that the one session they have is helpful. One-at-a-Time Therapy provides an effective option for people seeking support to address their concerns in the moment. Borrowing from this approach, One-at-a-Time Thinking has been identified as a core component of SC2.0; this thinking considers that every encounter across the mental health system is an opportunity for a person to have a helpful experience and address their immediate concerns. 

As a part of our “So, Why” Podcast, we will embark on a mini-series to explore different perspectives on implementing One-at-a-Time Therapy. We will learn from various practitioners how this method can be used in different contexts. OAAT may not fit every situation, but it is a fantastic option that can be helpful in many ways. 

About this episode:

Going beyond a methodology, Single Session Therapy is a mindset that counsellors can learn and embrace. This mindset puts a focus on supporting people in the moment and recognizing and building on their strengths. In Italy, the Italian Center for Single Session Therapy is working toward shifting the mindsets of counsellors across the country to be able to offer a person-centric approach that recognizes professionals do not have all the wisdom, but people often know what is best for them. 

Today, we are joined by Dr. Flavio Cannistrà, a psychologist based in Rome, Italy. He is the founder and co-director of the Italian Center for Single Session Therapy and the ICNOS Institute, an international postgraduate training institute specializing in strategic and systemic brief psychotherapies. His publications include Single Session Therapy: Principles and Practices and Brief Therapy Conversations

For more information about the upcoming conference:

For more information about Stepped Care Solutions: 

For access to virtual mental health resources:

Oct 20, 202335:00
Tackling waitlists to improve access to support

Tackling waitlists to improve access to support

As a part of a CIHR grant, the province of New Brunswick embarked on the implementation of SC2.0 in 2019. The provincial implementation began with implementing OAAT across the province. The impacts were evident. With decreased waitlists and both positive client and provider feedback, the province of New Brunswick is well on their way to creating a person-centric open-access mental health, addictions and substance use health system.

Today we are joined by Bernie Goguen, the Director of Adult Services at New Brunswick’s Department of Health where he is working on various projects focused on improving the continuum of care in Addiction and Mental Health Services.  Bernie is a psychologist with over 30 years of experience helping individuals with substance use and mental health issues. He is a graduate of Saint Thomas and Carleton Universities and worked for several years in Provincial and Federal correctional services. He has held various management positions with Horizon Health Network’s Addiction and Mental Health Services, including a Detoxification Treatment Unit, an Opioid Replacement Treatment Program and Community Mental Health Services. 

Sep 27, 202331:21
 Fostering flexibility to create a supportive system in NWT

Fostering flexibility to create a supportive system in NWT

Like many other provinces and territories, the Northwest Territories had one pathway for people seeking support for their mental health.  Recognizing that people have diverse needs and their journeys are not always linear, the territory explored a new way of doing things to help more people get the support they need when needed. Drawn to its intuitive approach, in 2020, NWT made the decision to start implementing Stepped Care 2.0. The transformation began, and the system started to shift. There are now multiple ways of accessing different types of care with minimal barriers, allowing for quick access. 

The newly released report Partnering Together for Person- and Family-Centric Care in partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Stepped Care Solutions, highlights the impact of these changes. The outcomes match the excitement of those who have been a part of it, including a 79% reduction in wait times for mental wellness counselling.

Today we are joined by Carly Straker, Manager of Systems Quality and Integration in Mental Wellness and Addictions Recovery with the Government of the NWT. Carly was born and raised on the traditional territory of the Yellowknives Dene in Yellowknife,

NWT. She is a mama to a little one who is total sunlight.  Carly has a master’s degree in clinical social work and has spent two decades working, advocating, learning, and leading in various front-line, operational, and system-level capacities within mental wellness and substance use health, trauma, crisis and emergency response, and more - with children, youth, adults and families in both urban and rural settings across Canada. With a passion for whole health, she also coaches weightlifting, children’s sports and spends as much time as she can in nature with her daughter, friends, and family, recognizing the invaluable impacts of these connections. While working in her current role with the Government of the NWT, Carly has led system change through the championing of recovery-oriented, person- and family-centric care and the recent implementation of the Stepped Care 2.0 model, which includes various eMental health initiatives, key training and orientation programs, an Advisory Group of individuals from across the territory with lived and living expertise, communications, continuous monitoring, and more.

For more information about Mental Wellness and Addictions Recovery in Northwest Territories, visit their site:

Aug 23, 202328:49
Peer Support: A Valuable Approach to Promoting Wellbeing
Jan 18, 202331:08
Supporting Substance Use Health Throughout the System

Supporting Substance Use Health Throughout the System

Achieving a vision of wellbeing everywhere may seem lofty, but there are so many amazing people and organizations that work throughout systems that are making it happen.  The complexities of life often create situations, feelings and responses that are difficult for us to truly understand.  Substance use has traditionally held a lot of stigma within systems and also on individual and personal levels.  Putting people first is an important part of moving toward wellness, and acknowledging and including substance use health in supporting people’s wellbeing through access to diverse options to care includes treating people in a respectful and helpful manner.

Today we are joined by  Gord Garner, the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships of the Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA). He is a national public speaker and educator on Systems Stigma and trainer on Person First Language. At the time of this Podcast, he is living well with his own substance use disorder. He is dedicated to removing stigma barriers and enabling policy writers, academics, researchers and people with personal experience with Substance Use Health issues to make systems-level changes to improve the health outcomes of people living in Canada who use(d) substances. He advocates that all policies and regulations need to be reviewed through the lens of increased life security and Substance Use Health outcomes by using an All People, All Pathways TM model. All of his work is informed by his 38 years of active addiction and by those who helped him. He believes compassion is a practice and he is practicing.

You can access All People, All Pathways Programming through Wellness Together Canada

For more information on Stepped Care 2.0 please visit us at

Oct 06, 202235:36
Recovery-oriented practice that supports hope and wellness in mental health systems

Recovery-oriented practice that supports hope and wellness in mental health systems

Recovery in SC2.0 is conceptualized as a diverse set of principles, values, and practices that aim to empower people experiencing mental health challenges along with their families and communities. This term Recovery for our purposes is intended to capture a deeply personal journey that looks different for each person and is guided by choice, preference, and readiness. It recognizes that there is no end-point and that there can be ups and downs that look and feel different in each person’s journey.  In this podcast, we will explore the concept of recovery and recovery orientation as it relates to mental health. 

Today we are joined by Janis Campbell who currently serves as Stepped Care Solutions Recovery-Oriented Practice Lead. Drawing from the diversity of her experiences as a helping professional, service user, and scholar-practitioner, Janis brings a unique lens to her visionary leadership in recovery and SC 2.0. Prior to her current role, Janis facilitated client and community focus groups for the SC2.0 E-Mental Health Demonstration project and worked as a Research Assistant for the Canadian Institute of Health Research project investigating the digitization of SC 2.0 in three Atlantic Canadian provinces. She is currently a Doctor of Education Candidate at Western University, specializing in mental health leadership in higher education.  She has expertise in the provision of counselling services within the SC2.0 model and has led the development and implementation of wellness and peer support programming in post-secondary and community settings. Janis is a counselling professional, clinical supervisor, and sessional instructor for Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Faculty of Education Counselling Psychology Program. She is also the Newfoundland and Labrador Director for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) National Board.

Aug 02, 202230:33
Codesigning for Success: Developing Equitable Systems Together

Codesigning for Success: Developing Equitable Systems Together

When we think about co-design in approaching mental health systems development and change we can think of it as an iterative process of bringing together a variety of people with a diverse range of perspectives, interests, and expertise.  These different people might be involved in the implementation of systems change or an approach like SC2.0 or they can be those who are affected by system change.  Their knowledge and experiences with system interactions are crucial to collaboratively developing an effective, meaningful, and relevant system of care.

Our speaker for this episode is Marion Cooper. Marion is a clinical social worker and mental health and addictions leader who has worked in the community sector in various positions for nearly 30 years. In addition to her role with Stepped Care Solutions, Marion is the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) for Manitoba and Winnipeg. Just prior to joining Stepped Care Solutions, Marion served as the Executive Lead for Strategic Partnerships with the CMHA National Office. Marion currently serves on the Mental Health Promotion Expert Working Group for the International Union for Health Promotion (IUHP) and the Public Health Council Leaders with the International Institute for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL).  Marion is passionate about recovery, social justice, system transformation, co-design, and innovation to advance mental health and well-being for the entire population.

For more information about our work: 

To access the Wellness Together Canada Portal:

Jun 15, 202225:30
Synergy: Exploring what lies beyond Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Apr 29, 202238:03
Navigating Virtual Options to Support Mental Wellness with Dr. AnnMarie Churchill

Navigating Virtual Options to Support Mental Wellness with Dr. AnnMarie Churchill

Mental health and wellness along with things like self-care have become commonplace topics on social media, the news and in other online sources.  We talk more openly about self-care and wellness at work, at school and in our families. All great things to reducing stigma around mental health problems and making sure people who need help can get it.

It does however present some challenges in effectively navigating the mental health and addictions system.  There are so many apps, sites, and tools available to us both online and in our communities as well.  Some come at a cost, some are free, how do we know which ones are reliable and which ones are effective?

According to an evaluation of mental health application published in May of 2021 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the United States, there are growing concerns over data sharing and clinical safety. A study on Assessment of the Data Sharing and Privacy Practices of Smartphone Apps for Depression and Smoking Cessation published in April 2019 on JAMA network open found that out of 36 top-ranked apps for smoking cessation and depression, 29 sent data to Facebook or Google, but only 12 apps mentioned this in their privacy policy. Another study of 61 mental health apps which was published in May of 2019 in the International Journal of law and psychiatry, found that 41% of the apps did not have a privacy policy at all.

In addition to an increase in online resources and supports, we are increasingly becoming aware that there are a number of informal ways to support our mental health which can include things like meditation, prayer, yoga, exercise, nature, among others.  Knowing what might be most helpful and effective in each unique situation could seem like an overwhelming task.

In this episode, we will explore navigating the options with these considerations in mind.  We are joined by Dr. AnnMarie Churchill who has over 25 years of experience in direct clinical practice in community, hospital, research and post-secondary mental health systems. AnnMarie is the Executive Director of Stepped Care Solutions and has worked as the lead clinical trainer and consultant on the SC2.0 Demonstration Project in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as SC2.0 implementations in the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and post-secondary institutions across North America.

In addition to this role, AnnMarie is a clinical consultant on the Canadian Institute of Health Research grant to implement and evaluate the digitization of Stepped Care, a research fellow in SC2.0 at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and is leading Stepped Care Solutions in their role as a representative partner on the Government of Canada’s mental health response to COVID through the Wellness Together Canada portal. AnnMarie is co-author of the book Person-centered diagnosis and treatment in mental health.

Learn more about:

Stepped Care 2.0 

Wellness Together Canada

Stepped Care Solutions

Feb 10, 202230:19
Getting Help for our Mental Health with Dr. Peter Cornish

Getting Help for our Mental Health with Dr. Peter Cornish

In this episode we are joined by Dr. Peter Cornish to discuss the barriers to accessing mental health support and some ideas for overcoming them.


A 2020 research article by Moroz et al.(2020) highlights the need for increased access to Mental Health and Addiction Services in Canada along with some of the barriers people face when accessing support for their mental health. In 2018, an estimated 5.3 million Canadians reported they needed support for their mental health in the previous year, of these, 1.2 million people reported having their needs met only partially (22%) and 1.1 million people (21%) reported their needs remained fully unmet. (Mental Health Care Needs, 2018, 2019).

Some documented barriers to accessing mental health and addictions services in Canada are:

Not knowing where to go for help (Mental Health Care Needs, 2018, 2019)

Long wait times (Mental Health in the Balance: Ending the Health Care Disparity in Canada, 2021)

Shortage of accessible mental health professionals (Mental Health Care Needs, 2018, 2019)

Lack of mental health service integration and government oversight (Mental Health in the Balance: Ending the Health Care Disparity in Canada, 2021)

Culture and language barriers (Mental Health Care Needs, 2018, 2019)

Concerns about stigma (Knaak et al., 2017)

Inequities due to geography or demographics (eg, rural communities, and Indigenous populations) (Mental Health Care Needs, 2018, 2019)

Cost (Mental Health in the Balance: Ending the Health Care Disparity in Canada, 2021)

When looking internationally, a recent Forbes article reports that across ten countries surveyed, an average of 58% of people experiencing a mental health problem or illness didn't seek help for clinical-level mental health challenges (Nietzel, 2021). The percentages varied from country to country and ranged from 45% not seeking professional help in the U.S and Australia to 81% not doing so in Nigeria (Nietzel, 2021).

Reasons for not seeking professional help the responses included:

-  preference for self-help (36%) 

-  lack of knowledge of what kind of help to seek or where to get it (34%);

-  lack of confidence in mental health treatment (28%), 

-  stigma or fear of not wanting people to know (22%);

-  lack of affordability (17%).

(Nietzel, 2021)

This episode's speaker, Dr. Peter Cornish, is founder of the Stepped Care 2.0 (SC2.0) methodology and current president of Stepped Care Solutions. He has provided mental health system consultation and on-site training to over 250 organizations across North and South America.  He is an Honorary Research Professor at Memorial University and Director of Counselling and Psychological Services at the University of California, Berkley. He is also a Principal Investigator for a CIHR “Transitions in Care” research grant aimed at digitizing and evaluating SC2.0 in 3 Canadian provinces.

Links to relevant Resources

Note: During the episode, the term "privileged minority" was intended to mean that many of our practices have been designed through a Eurocentric lens which often overrepresents the views of a White-identified, more privileged segment of society.  This segment represents only a minority of the world population.

Jan 09, 202241:37