College introduces free psychotherapy services

Students at Northern College were introduced to two new, free psychotherapy services they can use for help dealing with low mood, stress, and worry.

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 telephonecoaching program with workbooks and videos and Big White Wall is an online peer support and self-management tool.


The announcement was made jointly by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Cochrane-Timiskaming, the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), and the North East Local Health Integration Network (North East LHIN).


“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, chief executive officer for the North East LHIN. “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 Cochrane-Timiskaming 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.

“These are services that are amazing for the self-starter, the individual who is ready for personal growth and needs minimal supports to get the ball rolling on their MH journey,” said Kristin Ethier, Addictions and Mental Health Worker, CMHA-Cochrane-Temiskaming.

“It provides easy access to work books, coaching and online information that is researched, accountable, and structured all in the comfort of your home.”



Dr. Ed Brown, CEO of OTN, added, “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.


“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.”

These new services offer another way to help students develop the skills they need to manage stress, anxiety and low mood.


Fred Gibbons, president and CEO of Northern College, said, “At Northern College, we pride ourselves in offering accessible education to our students, promoting a close knit, supportive and nurturing learning environment both in our classrooms and across our campuses, this includes taking the initiative to offer learning and mental health supports that best suit our increasingly digital world.


“As institutions of higher learning, we must not only acknowledge the stigma surrounding mental health issues, but actively partner in the development and promotion of increasing accessibility to mental health supports in any way possible to ensure the academic, personal and social success of each and every one of our students.”


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 depressionand anxiety. The service, currently only available in English and coordinated through OTN. People can selfrefer 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 skillbuilding program designed to help adults and youth aged 15 and older manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, combat unhelpfulthinking, and become more active and assertive.


The program offers help in the form of telephone coaching and workbooks.


BounceBack has a guided selfhelp 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.

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