The Ontario Psychiatric Outreach Programs (OPOP) was formed in 1999 at the request of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC). Several university programs had been providing clinical service and education in mental health to under-serviced areas across the province since the late 1980s. The Ministry asked those university programs to form a new organization that would allow for better coordination of their activities to avoid duplication of effort and increase the capacity of under-serviced areas to provide mental health services to their clients.
The OPOP founding university programs were the Northern Psychiatric Outreach Program at CAMH (at the time the University of Toronto Psychiatric Outreach Program), the University of Ottawa Northern Ontario Francophone Psychiatric Program and the University of Western Ontario Extended Campus Program. OPOP has also worked collaboratively with the McMaster University Psychiatric Outreach Program, Queen's University, the Child and Youth Telepsychiatry Program, HealthForce Ontario Marketing and Recruitment agency, and the Northern Academic Health Sciences Network, which preceded the founding of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM).