Free self-help psychotherapy services to help adults and youth tackle anxiety and depression

Information on the Programs

Funded by the Government of Ontario, Big White Wall and BounceBack are two proven self-help psychotherapy services that are improving access to treatment for mild to moderate depression and anxiety. The services are available now, free for people living in Ontario, and no travel is required to participate. Read on to learn more about the services.

Big White Wall is an online peer support and self-management tool for adults and youth (aged 16+). The service is coordinated by the Ontario Telemedicine Network, and clients can self-refer or be referred by their primary care provider. There are no wait times.

Big White Wall helps users manage their own mental health. It is available 24/7, which means clients 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. Users can talk anonymously with other members of the community who can relate to their feelings. Big White Wall is staffed by trained Wall Guides who make sure that the community is safe and supportive. Users also have access to online guided support courses on topics such as depression, anxiety, weight management, and smoking cessation. For those looking for alternative ways to express themselves, Big White Wall provides an opportunity to display feelings using images, drawings, and words.

Big White Wall has been active in several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and New Zealand. Since its inception in 2007 in the UK, this online tool has been used by more than 60,000 people. It was launched as a pilot in Ontario with Lakeridge Health, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and Women’s College Hospital. An evaluation of the 700+ participants indicated a decrease in reported depression and increase in perceived mental health recovery. Big White Wall is currently only available in English.

For more information on Big White Wall, visit bigwhitewall.ca. To request printed promotional materials, email bigwhitewall@otn.ca

BounceBack is an evidence-based, skill-building program grounded in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for adults and youth (aged 15+) offered through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario and CMHA York and South Simcoe. Through one-on-one telephone coaching and workbooks that clients can do from the comfort of their home, they learn skills to help manage worry and anxiety, combat unhelpful thinking, and become more active and assertive. Clients are contacted within five business of referral to schedule their first telephone assessment.

Access to the telephone coaching program is by referral through a primary care provider (family doctor, nurse practitioner, and psychiatrist). Clients may also self-refer, but will need to provide the contact information of their primary care provider so that they can be informed of their clients’ participation and progress in the program.

Clients can also watch a series of BounceBack Today online videos at any time at: bouncebackvideo.ca (using access code: bbtodayon). The videos offer practical tips on managing mood, sleeping better, problem solving, and more. BounceBack is available in multiple languages.

Developed in the UK by Dr. Chris Williams, a psychiatrist, the program was first adopted by CMHA British Columbia, and has enjoyed nine years of success with over 40,000 participants. Since 2008, BounceBack has consistently enhanced mood, physical health, and quality of life, with depressive and anxious symptoms reduced by almost 40% at program completion. Following a similarly successful two-year pilot in the York and South Simcoe regions of Ontario, BounceBack was launched across the province.

Community providers can refer their clients to BounceBack telephone coaching and workbooks: Complete a referral form. Downloadable copy available online at bouncebackontario.ca or email us to request a primary care toolkit at bounceback@ontario.cmha.ca

For more information on BounceBack, visit bouncebackontario.ca. To request a toolkit containing professional and patient resources, email bounceback@ontario.cmha.ca

Want to learn more? Below is a link to an educational webinar. It includes a detailed overview of both services, their benefits, and how to refer. It also includes a demo of Big White Wall.

To access the recording, visit this link:

https://vimeo.com/274971387

Password: BB2018