You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.
Nothing at all. The BounceBack® program and materials are free. We believe that BounceBack® provides core skills that all individuals should have access to, regardless of their background or status.
BounceBack® is based on research evidence which shows that simple skills and techniques are effective in helping people to overcome low mood and worry. The BounceBack® approach is based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT has also been shown to be just as effective as medication for treating depression and anxiety disorders.
As the name suggests, CBT focuses on the way we think (“cognitive”) and act (“behavioural”). The concept behind CBT is that our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel and how we behave in that situation. Skills you learn in CBT are useful, practical and helpful strategies that can be incorporated into everyday life to help you cope better with future stressors and difficulties. One example of CBT in practice would be to imagine you’re walking in a park. While in the park, a friend walks by, but doesn’t acknowledge you. We may think our friend doesn’t like us and we may get angry. BUT we could also assume that our friend is having a tough day and missed us while pre-occupied with a difficult problem they were having. The second thought might not lead you to feel angry, but rather concerned for your friend.
CBT breaks down the situation to help us understand how the way we think (“cognitive”) and the way we respond (“behavioural”) affect each other. By separating the way we feel from the way we act, we gain more control of our mind and therefore choose healthier behaviours. In our park example, we might dismiss our initial anger and make the effort to connect with our friend. You can see this in action in the program trailer video, here.
In counselling, the clinician – such as a social worker, psychologist, or a registered counsellor – is responsible for both teaching and supporting you through the process. On the other hand, BounceBack® involves self-led learning with added supportive coaching (if desired, by referral). BounceBack® is structured so that the workbooks are the teacher and the coach is your guide.
On average, people who participate in BounceBack® feel less worry, have reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improved confidence and activity – particularly those who felt mild to moderate amounts of these feelings. We highly recommend giving the program a try. If the program isn’t working for you, that’s okay! It just means a different strategy might work better.
We recommend that you spend 20-30 minutes, two or three times a week on the materials. However, we recognize everyone’s life is different and so are your commitments. What’s important is finding a pace that works best for you; one where you can routinely and consistently progress through the program. Practicing what you learn in BounceBack® is ongoing. Mental health maintenance is a daily process and we hope the program will help you establish this routine within your own life.
Your first call with your coach is an opportunity for you to get to know each other, learn more about the program, and ensure that BounceBack® is the right fit for you. You will work with the same coach for the entire program and have control over your scheduling. Your phone sessions will usually be 15-20 minutes long and are typically scheduled every 2-3 weeks. You can pick which booklets you want to focus on. You will work on the materials between sessions, and during your call, your coach will guide you to reflect on your progress.
You do not have to finish the program. An excellent way to think of BounceBack® is like a buffet: take the skills you need and leave the rest. For example, those who are enrolled in BounceBack® Coaching, have up to six sessions available to them, but some participants might find that four sessions are enough.
We’ve got good news! There is no waitlist for any of the BounceBack® platforms! The videos are available as soon as you sign up. For the coaching platform, once we receive your referral form, our team usually needs five business days to get you set up. However, due to the pandemic, you will experience longer than usual wait times to get started.
To get started, you will need a referral from your primary care provider. This could be a physician, nurse practitioner, or psychiatrist. Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to complete and submit the online form. Alternatively, you can self-refer but be sure to include the contact information for your primary care provider so that we can contact them on your behalf.
Coaching and scheduling
Once our team receives the referral, we will call you within five business days to set up an initial 15-minute information session with your coach to learn more about the program. Remember, you can always access the online videos while you wait. During this initial call, you will schedule an assessment session with your coach who will then ask you some questions to ensure you are ready for a program like BounceBack® and send you your first set of program materials. From there, the two of you will set up a time and date for your first working call-in session.
The BounceBack® Coaching program includes up to six telephone sessions with your coach. Your coach will help you determine which workbooks to focus on in each session. Typically, each session is 15-20 minutes long and is scheduled every two to three weeks. On average, participants choose to work on one to two workbooks between sessions, and then reflect on the material with their coach during a session. Sometimes things get in the way and participants only finish one workbook. That is completely okay. Sometimes a particular workbook is too difficult and participants don’t complete all of it. That is fine as well. Your coach will help you through these tough times and work with you to determine what is best for your well-being. In total, you will have six months to complete up to six sessions.
Once you have completed your sessions, you will have the opportunity to book up to two booster sessions with your coach. We want to ensure you are set up for success. These booster sessions are meant to provide you with the extra support in case you need it. You have up to six months to use these boosters from the time you finish your initial sessions.
If you don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, you can print off the referral form here and bring it with you to a walk-in clinic, to see if the primary care provider there would be willing to take on short-term clinical responsibility while you are participating in the program.
It can be challenging navigating how to provide helpful support to someone you care about. A good place to start is to ask them how you can support them on their journey. Some may want to share things with you, such as the booklets they are working on, whereas others may want to do it completely on their own. If you would like to learn more about how to provide helpful support to your loved one, our online program has a workbook called “Information for Family and Friends” which provides helpful tips. You can access it for free by registering for the online program here.
Make sure that you bring this to the attention of your primary care provider. They will be able to conduct a thorough assessment of your mental health needs and determine the best course of action for you.
If you are not eligible to participate in BounceBack® Coaching, or do not have a primary care provider, you can self-enrol in BounceBack® Online by visiting www.bouncebackonline.ca. You will have access to workbooks, interactive worksheets and videos to help you overcome low mood and worry. Only, you will work through the materials independently and at your own pace. Resources are available in English only.
Many options are available. Here are a few we suggest:
- Talk to your doctor or visit a local clinic
- Call ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600
- Find your local CMHA branch
- If you are a post-secondary student, call the Good2Talk Helpline at 1-866-925-5454 or dial 2-1-1
If you’re in crisis:
- Call Talk Suicide at 1-833-456-4566