January 21, 2019- To help beat “Blue Monday” as well as low mood, stress and worry during the
rest of the year, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Nipissing Regional Branch
introduced Canadore College and Nipissing University students to two new, free psychotherapy
Both skill-building programs, funded by the Ontario Government, are designed to help adults
and youth with mild to moderate depression and anxiety. BounceBack is a telephone-coaching
program with workbooks and videos and Big White Wall is an online peer support and self-management
“The North East LHIN is pleased to be working with the local branches of the Canadian Mental
Health Association (CMHA) and the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) to help increase
awareness of both Big White Wall and BounceBack across Northeastern Ontario,” said Jeremy
Stevenson, North East LHIN CEO. “While the online and telephone-based services are ideal for
students and youth, they are also available to all adults. The best part is there is little to no wait
time – people can get help, they may need, right away.”
CMHA – Nipissing has been making presentations to different groups including mental health
and addiction professionals, as well as physicians and nurse practitioners on how their clients
and patients, 15 to 16 years and older, can benefit from the services.
“We are very pleased to be able to, with the support of the North East LHIN, assist in increasing
awareness of the BounceBack program and Big White Wall, and today, in particular with the
post-secondary student population. These programs allow students and individuals to access
the skill building program of BounceBack or online peer support of Big White Wall quickly and
easily at home and at no cost.” said Margi Clarke, Interim Executive Director of CMHA Nipissing
“Making these two excellent solutions available free across the province will arm Ontarians with
valuable resources they can use to help manage anxiety and depression,” said Dr. Ed Brown,
CEO, OTN. “We know that students in particular are in need of immediate options to cope, to
help with the stress and isolation that can happen with post-secondary education, and to
empower them to self-manage.”
For both Nipissing University and Canadore College, finding new ways to support their students’
mental health is a priority. These new services offer another way to help students develop the
skills they need to manage stress, anxiety and low mood.
“Initiatives like this show that both institutions continue to adapt to the needs of their students by seeking out new and innovative tools and making them accessible. This is a great way to round out Nipissing U’s phenomenal existing student services,” said Nipissing University student Abbey Thompson. “Mental health exists outside of office hours and so should the tools to maintain it. Services like these are a great step forward in ensuring that students are getting the help they need, when they need it.”
“I spent many years not enjoying life or what it had to offer me,” said Cory Hobbs, first-year social service worker student at Canadore College. “After years of denying that I had a mental illness, I finally accepted the truth, and yet it will never again define me. I learned that none of us has to face challenges alone, and services like the ones announced today will provide new levels of support and help us all put an end to the negative stigma attached with mental illness.”
Big White Wall
Big White Wall is a free online peer support and self-management tool for adults and youth
aged 16 and older experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety. The
service, currently only available in English and coordinated through OTN. People can self-refer
and no clinician referral is required. It is available around the clock, which means people can
access it immediately and at a time when other services are less likely to be available. In fact, 66%
of logins to Big White Wall are after regular office hours.
With Big White Wall, users can talk anonymously with other members of the community who are
feeling the same way they are. Big White Wall is staffed by trained Wall Guides who make sure
that the community is safe and supportive and remains anonymous.
BounceBack is a free skill-building program designed to help adults and youth aged 15 and
older manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, combat unhelpful thinking, and become
more active and assertive. The program offers two forms of help:
Telephone coaching and workbooks: BounceBack has a guided self-help program in which a
coach supports you in working through a series of workbooks. The program involves three to six
telephone coaching sessions, which you can do from your home. Workbooks and coaching are
available in multiple languages.
BounceBack Today videos offer practical tips on managing mood, sleeping better, building confidence, increasing activity, problem solving, and healthy living. The videos are available in English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Arabic, and Farsi.
A referral is required to participate in the BounceBack telephone coaching program. Your family doctor or nurse practitioner can provide you with a referral. Alternatively, you can self-refer, but will need to provide your primary care provider’s contact information so that we can contact them on your behalf.
• To find out more about BounceBack go to https://bouncebackontario.ca/
• To share short video on BounceBack https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2VZhAEHB_M
• To find out more about Big White Wall go to https://www.bigwhitewall.ca
• To share a short video about Big White Wall:
30 sec: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifrCqLoYJaE
For more information: Margi Clarke, Interim Executive Director, CMHA – Nipissing Regional
Branch 705 474-1299 ext: 210. MClarke@cmhanipissing.on.ca