Canadian Mental Health Association offers tips and free wellness programs to help reduce stress for families as they return to school routines
VANCOUVER BC (September 23, 2022) – Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC) BounceBack® program is now available to youth 13+. This free skill-building program is designed to help adults and youth manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry.
“The early teenage years can be an overwhelming time in a young person’s life. So much changes as youth enter high school, gain new independence and forge their identities alongside their peers,” says Elisa Perez, Director of Early Intervention CMHA BC. “We are thrilled to announce that BounceBack is now available throughout these crucial years of development.”
Of the 11,000 people who completed the coaching program, 90% said they would recommend it to a friend or family member and 85% felt they could maintain the changes they made.
This program is accessible online or by phone anywhere in BC, and there is no waitlist. No referral is required to access the BounceBack online or video programs. However, to access our coaching program a referral is needed by a doctor, a nurse practitioner, psychiatrist or school counsellor.
CMHA BC is committed to supporting the well-being of all British Columbia and offer a range of programs – Confident Parents: Thriving Kids; We Are Indigenous: Big Worries/Fears, Parent/Caregiver Support Program; Living Life to the Full; and BounceBack.
Parents and caregivers who are interested in the BounceBack program for their teen are encouraged to visit the BounceBack website at www.BounceBackBC.ca.
Tips for Reducing stress for the return to school
The beginning of a new school year can be an exciting time for children and teens – but it can also be stressful as they navigate new classes and social circles.
In all the hustle and bustle of back-to-school, there are steps you can take to help ease your child or teen’s return to classes.
Set balanced routines
Getting into good routines, including a regular sleep schedule and dedicated time for homework, can help your child or teen keep up with their classes.
While it’s important to make time for coursework, it’s also important to have time for friends and relaxation. Encourage your child to reconnect with friends outside of classes and to find hobbies they enjoy.
If they are feeling overwhelmed about making new friends, see if there are clubs or groups they can join to bond with others over an activity.
Validate their feelings
If your child or teen is feeling anxious, stressed or down, take time to listen and validate how they’re feeling. Doing so can remind them that this is a safe space to come to you for help, no matter what they’re dealing with.
Commend them for their bravery in sharing how they’re feeling, listen as they talk through the situation, and support them in figuring out strategies to cope.
Seek extra support
Sometimes your child or teen may need more support to manage their anxiety or stress, or gain confidence. Let them know there’s no shame asking for help, whether for schoolwork or mental health.
With the right support systems in place, youth will be ready to take on another school year with all the new experiences, challenges and lessons ahead. There are a range of free programs to support youth of all ages, offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC).
For youth 3-12
Confident Parents: Thriving Kids has helps parents support their children aged 3-12 to manage either anxiety or behaviour challenges. It is a strengths-based parenting program that empowers you as the primary change agent for your child, with skill-building resources and coaching. The program is available at no cost to parents and caregivers across BC, through referral. Visit www.ConfidentParents.ca to learn more.
We Are Indigenous: Big Worries/Fears, Parent/Caregiver Support Program is a free resource to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit families across BC, whose children aged 3–12 years are struggling with the experience of the Big Worries/Fears, or what the Western worldview calls anxiety. This program is grounded in Indigenous perspectives and available at no cost to parents and caregivers across BC, through referral. Visit www.BigWorriesStrongSpirit.ca to learn more.
For youth 13-18
Living Life to the Full is a mental health course for teens age 13-18 living in BC. The 8-week online course guides youth through interactive exercises and provides practical tools to help them gain confidence, enjoy better relationships, feel less stress and anxiety, and develop practical skills to deal with life’s everyday challenges. Various course start dates are available for free for Fall-Winter 2022/23. Sign up at www.LivingLifetotheFull.ca.
For youth 13+
BounceBack is an evidence-based skill-building program that helps individuals ages 13+ manage their symptoms of low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. The program is available across BC, and is free with no waitlist. Visit the website to learn more and register.
About the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
The CMHA is a national charity that provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive. Each year in BC alone, CMHA serves more than 100,000 people across the province. For mental health and addiction information and resources visit www.cmha.bc.ca
Director of Early Intervention