Bounce Back from low mood, stress, anxiety with free, clinically-proven mental health program
Just in time for the holidays, the Canadian Mental Health Association is launching Ontario’s first free, clinically-proven, self-guided mental health program designed to help adults rebound from low mood and mild to moderate stress or anxiety. Bounce Back offers an instructional DVD, easy-to-understand independent workbooks, and telephone coaching by trained experts to help people boost and maintain their mental health.
As a self-guided tool, Bounce Back offers some of the same benefits as seeing a trained professional, without having to pay for the service or wait for an appointment with a counsellor or therapist.
The program is run by CMHA York and South Simcoe and is available to people in parts of Toronto, York Region and southern Simcoe County. Participants must be 18 or older, and be referred by their primary care practitioner.
Workbooks are available in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Telephone coaching is available in English, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian and Hebrew.
Although a first for Ontario, Bounce Back – which is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – has been operating since 2008 in B.C., where:
- Results show that depression severity reduced significantly as a result of completing the coaching program
- Results show that depression and anxiety symptoms were reduced by half and participants experienced significant improvements in life enjoyment and physical health
- On average, those who complete the program typically use 4 or 5 coaching sessions and request 8 or 9 workbooks out of 16 (workbooks are specific to particular issues, such as stress, anger management, self-esteem, exercise, worry, etc.)
“Bounce Back reminded me of what past mental health providers had shown me and, more importantly, how capable I am to deal with my mental health. Having a coach that checked in on me and my progress was an amazing asset that I have never had before,” said Tim Trobacher, a Bounce Back participant from Bradford, Ontario.
“Seeking treatment for mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed of. Bounce Back has given me the tools to help manage my emotions and feelings so that I can lead a happier and healthier life,” said Tara Ehouman, a Bounce Back participant from Markham, Ontario.
“Bounce Back is a well delivered and focused program that can reduce risk of mental health crises developing,” said Dr. John Fitzsimons, a primary care doctor in Bradford and Newmarket who has participated in a soft launch of the program. “The team of telephone coaches are empathic and responsive to those in need and I would recommend other doctors look to Bounce Back to help patients improve their health.”
“Bounce Back provides people the flexibility and tools to help them focus on the problems they may be having, with extra help only a phone call away,” said Rebecca Shields, CEO of CMHA York and South Simcoe, which is offering the program. “Bounce Back is particularly timely given that many people have mental health challenges while trying to cope with the stress and anxiety of the holidays.”
“There are mental health services in the community for people who might need more serious intervention, but there isn’t a lot out there for individuals living with low to moderate mood, stress or anxiety,” said Mimi Wang, an English and Mandarin-speaking Bounce Back telephone coach. “We provide support and encouragement and help participants learn how to use our materials so they can overcome their struggles.”
- In any given year, one in five people in Canada experiences a mental health problem or illness, with a cost to the economy of well in excess of $50 billion.
- Major depression can occur in 10 to 25 per cent of women—almost twice as many as men.
- Men with depression typically have a higher rate of feeling irritable, angry and discouraged.