You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
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 situation.
BounceBack® is based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT helps us understand how the way we think (“cognitive”) and the way we respond (“behavioural”) affect each other. An exercise might help you see how this works: imagine you’re walking in a park. You see a friend. The friend walks by, but doesn’t acknowledge you. One way to think about this situation is to assume that your friend doesn’t like you. This way of thinking might then lead you to get angry. BUT you could also assume that your friend is having a tough day and missed you because they were preoccupied with a difficult problem. The second thought might lead you to feel concerned for your friend rather than upset. If you dismiss the first thought and concentrate on the second thought, it’s possible you’ll stop feeling angry and make the effort to connect with your friend instead.
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.
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 you choose the coaching platform). Think of the workbooks as the teacher and the coach as your guide.
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. Practicing what you learn in BounceBack® is ongoing. Mental health maintenance is a daily process and we hope the program will help you build this routine in 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 telephone 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.
No, you do not need permission from a parent or guardian to participate. If you choose the coaching platform, you will be asked to provide a parent or guardian’s contact information. Unless your coach believes you are at risk of hurting yourself or someone else, your coach will not contact your parent or guardian, and will never share any personal or private information about you without your permission. If you are at risk, your coach will tell you if your parent or guardian will be contacted prior to contacting them.
During your first session, your BounceBack® coach will ask you how much information you would like your coach to share if your parent or guardian contacts them. At most, with your permission, a coach would only share general facts about your participation, like the topics you’ve chosen to work on. That’s it. Involving a parent or guardian is generally beneficial, but it’s up to you to decide how much you would like to share, and with whom.
We will not send you any mail to your home address, unless you specify that you would like something mailed to you. For instance, in the coaching platform, you have the option to receive the booklets in the mail or use an online platform. Your coach will confirm where you would like your booklets mailed prior to sending them. If you do not want materials sent to your home address, you can ask your school counsellor if they can be sent there instead.
Protecting your privacy is very important to us. All information that we collect from you in the BounceBack® program is stored electronically on a highly secure Canadian-based server. Our coaches are trained to ensure that your privacy and confidentiality are upheld to the highest standard.
There are many professionals who can fill out the referral form for you. This can be a doctor, nurse practitioner, or psychiatrist. A good place to start is to book an appointment with your family doctor or nurse practitioner. They can help you complete and submit your form online. Alternatively, you can self-refer or ask your school guidance counsellor to assist you with completing the online referral form. You will be required to provide the name of your primary care provider so that we can contact them on your behalf.
Our ultimate goal is to ensure that you have the support you need to navigate your mental health journey. The reason we ask you to see your doctor/nurse practitioner, or one in a walk-in clinic, is to ensure that you have all the support you need. You and the doctor or nurse practitioner can work together as a team to decide if BounceBack® is a good fit at that particular time, or if another program may be better. Since we only deliver this particular program, it’s difficult for us to play that role and offer other alternatives. We feel that a doctor or nurse practitioner can provide support even after you complete BounceBack® or if you ever feel it’s not what you want.
Your appointment will likely be a 15-minute conversation with your doctor or nurse practitioner. They will likely ask you what brought you in. Once you mention that you want a referral to the BounceBack® Coaching platform, they will likely take the opportunity to ask you questions about your mental health and well-being, and will review your eligibility for the program. From there, they will help you decide if BounceBack® is the right fit or suggest alternative options.
It’s common to feel nervous about approaching a medical professional for support. This is a great time to lean on your social support network. You can ask a friend or an adult that you trust to accompany you to your appointment or offer emotional support. You can also talk to a teacher, coach, or school counsellor. Here is a suggestion for what you can say or text to them:
“Hey J. I want to support my mental health and found a program that can/will help. I’m feeling scared to go to my doctor for the referral. Can you come with me?”
If you don’t want anyone to come with you, try finding a Children’s Mental Health Centre located near you. This may help you feel more comfortable. Another option is to speak to your school guidance counsellor, who can help you complete the referral form or offer you alternative solutions.
Not necessarily. Often low mood and worry problems don’t qualify for a formal mental health diagnosis, but they deserve attention in their own right. BounceBack® is designed for people with mild to moderate mental health challenges that get in the way of life satisfaction.
You don’t need a diagnosis to participate in BounceBack®. In the coaching platform, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire from time to time. This helps us figure out if the program is helping you. Similar questionnaires may be used by your doctor for diagnosis purposes. Keep in mind that BounceBack® and BounceBack® coaches are not meant to provide a diagnosis; it’s best if you book an appointment with a doctor for more information on how to get diagnosed.
Once you have completed your sessions, you will have the opportunity to book up to two additional booster sessions with your coach. We want to ensure you are set up for success. These sessions are meant to provide you with the extra support in case you need it. Oh, and you can use these for up to six months after your sixth session!
Currently, BounceBack® is not offered in person.
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 a doctor or your school counsellor
- Access information on the Kids Help Phone website or use the “Resources Around Me” tool to access local supports in your area
- Find a Children’s Mental Health Centre near you
If you’re in crisis:
- Call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868
- Call Talk Suicide at 1-833-456-4566