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Canadian Mental Health Association introduces BounceBack® to Wood Buffalo Region thanks to support from Bell Let’s Talk

You can learn to think and feel better!

Fort McMurray, November 18, 2020 – Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Wood Buffalo announces the introduction of CMHA’s BounceBack® program to residents in Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo thanks to a donation from Bell Let’s Talk.

“Bell Let’s Talk is proud to help CMHA Wood Buffalo introduce the BounceBack program to Fort McMurray and reach more Canadians as the demand for virtual mental health supports increases as a result of COVID-19,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Through the expansion of the BounceBack program, we are supporting Canadians in this time of crisis and uncertainty on a national scale.”

BounceBack is a free, guided self-help program effective in helping adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry. Through telephone coaching and a selection of skill-building workbooks to choose from, participants can customize their own program, learn ways to overcome their symptoms and improve their mental well-being now and in future.

“There is no denying that the mental health needs of our region are vast. The economic downturn, recovery post wildfire, global pandemic, and historic flood have all played a tremendous role in impacting the overall mental wellness of individuals within our community.” said Amanda Holloway, CMHA Wood Buffalo’s Executive Director. “Now more than ever, we need a strong array of programs and services to support our region and to enhance individuals’ abilities to adapt to stressors in their lives. Thanks to the generosity of Bell Lets Talk, we can now offer this incredibly accessible and vital program to individuals who need this support.”

Based on cognitive behavioural therapy, BounceBack has been shown to reduce depressive and anxiety symptoms by 50% at program completion. The donation from Bell Let’s Talk has allowed CMHA to leverage existing expertise in BC, Ontario and Manitoba, where the program is already funded by governments and donors, to expand the impact of this evidence-based program to the rest of Canada.

Available to Wood Buffalo Region residents in English and French, the program is free to all participants and will be delivered by coaches who are extensively trained and overseen by clinical psychologists. Participants can be referred by a primary care provider or choose to self-refer as long as they’re connected with a primary care provider, giving Canadians more choice in accessing support from home.

Bell Let’s Talk funding has supported the creation of a national website and toll-free number where Canadians can learn about BounceBack and find out whether it is right for them. For Fort McMurray residents interested in registering for the program, please visit

Bell announced a $5 million increase in Bell Let’s Talk funding in response to COVID-19 with immediate support for five organizations delivering urgent mental health support on the front lines of Canadian communities, including $1 million to expand BounceBack. The BounceBack investment builds on an earlier $250,000 donation to CMHA in March to support the organization’s COVID-19 response.

To find out whether BounceBack is right for you, please visit

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a comprehensive list of FAQs on the site. Here are some more questions about the launch that you may be interested in:

  1. Is the national program exactly the same as the one that’s already offered in BC, Manitoba and Ontario?

The core of the BounceBack program is self-guided workbooks with telephone coaching and this is the same. Some other versions of the program offered in BC, MB and ON will not be offered in the expanded national offering, including the self-serve online version. Some participants will be offered the self-serve video version, depending on their needs and circumstances. The national program will be offered in English and French.

  1. Do I need a referral to participate?

You do not need to be referred to BounceBack. You can refer yourself provided you already have a health care provider. A health care provider can be a physician, nurse practitioner or psychiatrist. Be sure to include the contact information for your health care provider on the online referral form so that we can contact them on your behalf. Your coach will stay in touch with your care provider and loop them in whenever needed.

  1. Do I really need a family doctor to participate in BounceBack? What if I don’t have one?

It’s important that health care providers maintain responsibility for their clients’ overall well-being during their time in the program, as BounceBack coaches are not counsellors or therapists. They’re more like personal trainers for your mental health!

The health care provider can be a physician, nurse practitioner or psychiatrist. This could even mean a physician or nurse practitioner at a walk-in clinic. If you don’t have a doctor of your own, we recommend you download, print or share the FAQ for Health Care Providers from the website with your closest walk-in clinic. It outlines what the expectations are of the health care provider and how the program works.

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